the ants go marching..

when i was a little kid, there was this children’s song, remembered from early childhood
my mother hosted a morning playgroup in our santa monica
backyard, where harried 50’s housewives would gather with
their little ones in the mornings
before the ritual of getting to their daily chores of laundry, cleaning, ironing their husband’s shirts, getting dinner ready and freshening up to welcome home their working men…
a handful of small children in the neighborhood ran on the cool, freshly mowed backyard grass
played in the makeshift sandbox and ate crackers and drank kool-aid at a picnic table on the back patio
under the clothesline that later in the day would hold billowing white sheets and old wooden clothespins…
the women created games and taught us old girl scout songs
the darkest tune was about ants marching…the tune was gloomy to me and all i heard were the evil monkey guards marching through the castle while the bad witch held dorothy and toto captive in the wizard of oz movie..
the ants go marching two by two hurrah, hurrah
the ants go marching two by two hurrah, hurrah…
i cried everytime
the song terrified me and i could feel the ants marching on me and
i screamed, closing my eyes tight and trying to crawl inside my mother’s arms. my mother held me and the other mothers laughed and said, isn’t that sweet and oh my, she is
such a sensitive little girl!

last night i awoke remembering the news i received earlier in the day
the ant song came into my head, only the words had shifted:
my friends are dying two by two, hurrah, hurrah
my friends are dying two by two……

barely recovered from the last two who had passed earlier just weeks ago, the latest front page newsflash capturing our aging was delivered, too soon once again two by two
and the cancer that now escorts us to death’s door won out once again
two by two
four by four
death does not frighten me anymore
still, i scream, feeling the ants marching on my skin and now
terrified to be left behind

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About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i write...to release the gamut of emotion...to tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
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4 Responses to the ants go marching..

  1. Karmanot says:

    Makes me remember an ant story. Many years ago, my first love and I went to visit his starched Boston parents for Christmas. At the dinner table where his mother had prepared gray meat, gray vegies, gray gravy and gray potatoes, she began the meal with a sermon about the industrious ant and the lazy grasshopper. All the assembly hung on her every pious pronouncement. I then opined that actually, the ant froze to death in his burrow, while the grasshopper, working the
    circuit, spent the winter in Key West tending bar at the Ice Palace. We left the next day for P-town.

  2. David Garcia says:

    “The Compulsion to Create; Women Writers & Their Demon Lovers” by Susan Kavaler ….just came across this….thought of you….xd

  3. David Garcia says:

    yes,yes,yes…true…felt good to read, run the eyes pass over the print, imagine the fresh mowed grass, the little kids, the mothers chanting, chanting about ants…marching…yes, so well you describe it all … I would have felt the same…I was there….

    sorry to learn about more death…I was going to send you (in the next letter) the obit of the writer Charles Bowden…maybe I won’t now…

    I am glad you are writing……………………………xd

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