I Still Wait for My Father to Come Near One of My Poems

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 stand on, 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.

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