When Weaver Ants Cut
Joy Harjo is a poet and performer who has
written seven books of poetry, including How
We Became Human and She Had Some Horses.
She is known for drawing together the brutalities
of contemporary reservation life with the beauty
and sensibility of Native American culture
I love the dance of every one helping.
Each ant chews and chews a bit of juicyleaf
and stands on his back four legs to raise
the leaf shape up high above his head.
The congo line—a honey shimmer of bodies
rushing to bring the cut leaf home. For twelve
years, the ruler of Garwara, India was a jackal.
All the laughing in that town cannot
compare to what you have brought
into my home: a filament of light inside
a dark jellyfish bell. It’s this dance of ants
down a tree, around a stubborn frog—I want
to dance with you—how brave the line,
how tiny the step, a hundred green valentines.
From At the Drive-In Volcano by Joy Harjo (Tupelo Press, 2007).