“Boiling Water” by Julie A. Dickson

Before ant traps, poison, or other means,
Mother boiled water, carried the steaming pot
outside to the unsuspecting ant hill. To my horror
scalded, and dead ants would float away in rivulets
from the sandy pile, my mother defensively said  
“too many ants in the world”.  In my child’s dreams
I heard them crying, lost brothers and sisters lying
dead on our driveway, survivors carrying their dead
in a funeral procession. They say ants are intelligent.
I doubt boiling water was any more humane than today’s
pesticides or ant traps. In dreams, I feel scalding water hit
my skin and wake suddenly is if I were one of those ants.

Copyright © 2022 Julie A. Dickson
All Rights Reserved

Julie A. Dickson is a poet and writer who advocates for captive elephants and rescues feral cats. Her poetry appears in over 55 journals, including Misfit, Girl God, Blue Heron Review and MasticadoresUSA. Dickson holds a BPS in Behavioral Science, and is a Pushcart nominee and former poetry board member.

Featured Image: Courtesy of iStock

Editor: Barbara Harris Leonhard

Amazon Best-Selling Author

Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir (EIF-Experiments in Fiction, 2022)

Pushcart Nominee, 2022

MasticadoresUSA is open for submissions.
Send Submissions to meelosmom@gmail.com.

Facebook: Barbara Harris Leonhard /barbara.leonhard

Twitter: @BarbaraLeonhar4

Instagram: @meelosmom123

Linked In: ExtraordinarySunshineWeaver

Mastodon: @BarbaraLeonhard@msdtn.social

Divider Image: by GDJ on Pixabay

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6 Comentarios Agrega el tuyo

  1. Smitha V dice:

    I enjoyed reading this poem. Beautiful and powerful.

    Me gusta

  2. How sad. We really don’t think much about the pain we inflict, do we? I’ll remember this one.

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  3. heartfelt and powerful read! Congrats Julie! 💞

    Le gusta a 1 persona

  4. Meelosmom dice:

    Julie, I can relate to the empathy for living things. Thank you for your submission! We appreciate our collaboration!

    Me gusta

  5. jonicaggiano dice:

    This is a truly lovely piece and unfortunately it made me feel badly. We don’t use chemicals and fertilizers except for our compost which is ten times better anyway. We have very dangerous red ants here that are extremely tiny and we have known people with large dogs that have almost died before getting to the vet to get shots. They create a bit and they can bit many times. They form blisters and are painful and itchy. To a human that is very sensitive that steps in a big area where they are as they are extremely aggressive, could easily mean a trip to the ER or anaphylaxis. When there is a large hill we use boiling water still. We are both allergic and pesticides are dangerous because of run off with rain waters. One year they got so bad they were coming in through the electrical outlets looking for water. They are very intellegent beings and I do try not to kill stinging insects but I must tell the truth and say that we do the same thing when they get close to the door. This was a great piece because it does make one stop and think about how many insects and eggs are killed each time we do this. Thank you for caring so much about the earth and all those who live upon it. Blessings to you!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Joni, I felt like I was in a Hitchcock movie imagining all these biting insects swarming. We’ve had to deal with similar situations. It’s scary as people and pets can be allergic to the bites.

      Le gusta a 1 persona

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