[For Erin Alexander] –

It’s not easy avoiding them.
On a dark path, in the early morning.
Try in vain, the lack of light,
but it all ends in tears.
Hidden shapes, or curled up leaves?
One cannot tell as you trudge to the garage
to get your bike
for the early train to London,
knowing that soon
the crunch of the summer snail
will sound in the stillness of the morning,
home and life obliterated
in a single step, ooze, and lifeblood flowing
freely for the ants.
mandibles chatter,
wings aflutter –
a flurry of activity
Like a child with an ice-cream
extreme excitement as the colony presses forward,
gathering sap and chunky bits
for the big Winter freeze.