The House of Ants

ants on a pandanus seed

I met a man today
on a wooden ferry boat
and between the two islands

he told me a story. His
story, of two boys once
seven and once nine

when their mother who died.
Unable to make a sound
(their torn faces, tears contained

yet completely silent)
the smallest boy fell completely
unconscious to his mother

and he (the man) gathered those
children, holding the small one
closer, before taking them home

away from an internment.

Years later, they will tell
(their father) of someone else.
Cruel with drink.

Who would bind them
hands and feet to posts
and make them stand

in the house of ants.

Looking back through
our taxi window
my own adopted son

says suddenly “Tita Mel …
where is the man who
helped carry our things?

I want to wave to him.
I liked that man.”
So did I.

© 2018 Melinda J. Irvine

  • Daily Post: Astonish
  • I’m part of Post A Day 2018
  • Location: Guimaras Island, Iloilo (Philipppines)

ants on a pandanus seed