Flying Ant Day | Emily Montgomery

2 mins read

how the winged ants poured 
from holes in the orange hill and we knelt
rapt as they clambered up blades of grass in clusters 
and hurled themselves into the wind 
carried like small parachuted soldiers in gusts 
above the roof, setting off to scout 
faraway soil, and we went back inside, buzzing, 
to keep arranging books on their shelves and washing 
dirt off the molding, and all this life 
I’ve accepted love as some offering, 
a wrapped gift I carry around and question, but really 
that was never it all along, more a flowering 
plant I took for buds or a planet claimed 
by a telescope, and as the wind swept leaves against
our feet on the concrete steps of the back porch 
we researched the ants, their ritual—nuptial
flight—a thing to laugh at in our twenties 
while friends are choosing wedding venues and we
are choosing which dresser looks least hideous against 
wood-panel walls in this rented room on the edge 
of town, and how all along it was none of that 
but a moonlit lake into which
I had to plunge, how really 
it was just the air all around 
I had to launch myself into, wings wet 
with new, trusting the breeze to pull me 
above the dandelions and pines and this scrubbed 
green house, trusting to be one in a thousand, or 
at least to enjoy the lifting for that brilliant 
weightless moment

Emily Montgomery is a teacher and writer based in the beautiful river city of Richmond, VA.