Black ants are gathering short, crooked stems
while an architect ant directs the work
with the patience of ten million sunsets
or the movement of a glacier ten miles,
as countless moons parade the firmament—
that network of twinkling dots and dashes
to which not all ants pay slight attention.
Their future structure of twigs, clay, and mud
will be guarded by those who own the earth
far longer than irrelevant mammals
who disappear into the loam they work.
Ants remain content to work, build, and fight
for their survival, having no pretense
of proud ambition. They will outlast us.