Jake Sheff

My Son the Anthill

Elixirs take effect without a mind
Of their own, luxuriating in the bath
Of propinquity out of proportion
Relative to, say, Halley's Comet and
Halley's heart, like my son, the anthill.
My son is nothing like a mound, mind
You, but his querulous, scarlatiniform
Hobbies of collecting train schedules
And magic tricks perform a pile
Between the lumps in my daily aside.
So, for example, when I'm walking
Barefoot along my landscaper stones
And squish an ant, I think about my son
Impetuously tunneling through preordained
Mazes in his irregular sleep cycle;
A twitchy, broken thing. But wait,
My son is the anthill, not a twitch,
A maze or an abulic thing, in which case
I must play some part, subterranean
To say the least. The leafcutter ant wants
Nothing to do with my colonial sense
Of humor, but if I make myself an aphid
And prostrate, then somewhere down
There, I'll have a use.


Jake Sheff is a captain and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married to a Corri whom he produced a modern Maddie with. They, in turn, were adopted by four animals. Home is currently southern California. Poems of Jake’s are featured in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, Foliate Oak and elsewhere. A chapbook of his was published, Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible.


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