a golden shovel after Gwendolyn Brooks

Are you lost? Where is your home? My morning address to the
ants who are marshaling the kitchen counter. A strange earth
for this staggered colony of desperate valiant specks. There is
no there, here. Directionless, they scatter, regroup, & lay down a
wobbly trail across the white expanse of stove in one beautiful
act of determination after another: sheer persistence to find a place
to nest, a crevice between faucet & formica. Watermirrors
their ant selves, sink spray is rain falling on dry antennae &
oases appear here & there under a just washed coffee cup. Things
so ordinary to we large ones are porcelain palaces & pools to
you who carry bits of toast like Atlas shouldering the world. Be
gone! I plead as I read this morning’s news. A woman reflected
in steel, pierced by rebar, falling from a border wall. Goldenrod
(she can see it through the links) blooms in San Ysidro USA across
the way. She has traveled in a word made for pilgrims & traders: the
Muslim caravans from Cairo to Damascus, the Silk Road bearing little
pots of spices, honey, gems, paper & slaves across desert & lagoon.

Miranda Beeson

— 3rd Place Winner of the Spotlight Award —

Miranda Beeson is the recipient of the Jody Donohue Poetry Prize. New poems can be found in Barrow Street, The Southampton Review & The Laurel Review. Her chapbook Ode to the Unexpected is available from Shrinking Violet Press. She has recently completed a collection of poems, WILDLIFE. She will receive her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton in May