When I think of my father

raking leaves in the yard

and me jumping in the piles,

burrowing underneath one of them

and waiting for him

to walk by before jumping out

and grabbing him

and pulling him down

into the dark I love,

I’m reminded of the antlion,

and how, besides the fact that

for years when I was young

I trapped and killed ants daily

as some way to feed my sadness,

and doodled over everything

the way antlions doodle on the sand,

making tunnel-like drawings

that to this day still emerge

from the depths of plain, white

paper to make me feel more at home,

I’m reminded that antlions and I

have had to live underneath

what most people see,

which has meant that besides

scaring everybody,

we’ve had to live with that silence

that waits under the sand

for everybody and everything eventually.

We’ve survived by making a living

off of neglect, or off what others

secretly wish was never around

to begin with. Antlions lie and wait

for the unsuspecting ant to come

near their trap, and I still lie and wait

for my unsuspecting and neglectful

father, who’s long gone now,

to come near one of my poems.