Song for Picnic Ants

by Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum
First Place, June 2019
Judged by Melissa Studdard

I can’t believe in many things that others marvel at.
I can’t say which ones are which.
The selfish catfish isn’t a bottom feeder, but prefers the deep.
Put that in your bosom and inflate it.

We will survive through the era of non-survival at last.
I can’t say when anything is over.
The generous kangaroo that asks for food will get it quickly.
Your mask is falling into mine.

Check everything, even this poem, which lies low.
I can’t begin to fact check imagination.
The narcotic breath of the inchworm has been known to paralyze.
Your blessed approach cheers the patients.

When the day has gone, the night will go as well.
There is a rolling rhythm to endlessness.
Everything will end someday. You won’t be there with luck.
The journey to safety has killed more than you believe.

In what initially appears to be a string of non sequiturs, “Song for Picnic Ants” offers a fascinating look at relationships among knowledge, understanding, and belief. The irreverent tone (“Put that in your bosom and inflate it”) further skillfully disrupts the already shaky ground of what we think we know, supplanting it instead with unanswered questions and the uncomfortable wisdom of reckoning. The last line, especially, pierced me. --Melissa Studdard