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Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar. 1975. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A few days ago when I saw that the Academy of American Poets chose this Ravi Shankar poem for their “Poem-A-Day”, I nearly fell off my chair, because I wrote a story about ants for the wedding last weekend. Synchronicity about ants?
by Ravi Shankar
One is never alone. Saltwater taffy colored
beach blanket spread on a dirt outcropping
pocked with movement. Pell-mell tunneling,
black specks the specter of beard hairs swarm,
disappear, emerge, twitch, reverse course
to forage along my shin, painting pathways
with invisible pheromones that others take
up in ceaseless streams. Ordered disarray,
wingless expansionists form a colony mind,
no sense of self outside the nest, expending
summer to prepare for winter, droning on
through midday heat. I watch, repose, alone.