Vinegar Ants

What’s that—there on the sidewalk?
Sparkling glass fragments among limp green spears;
a broken jar of pickles smashed upon the concrete.
Dali would be pleased.

      Now shift

Nurses rush in every hour
to observe and record your passive aggresive manipulations,
“See how much I endure! Now give me what I want!”
Security is called. You’re too much.

     Shift again

This Sunday Schizophrenia isn’t worship;
it’s chatter, it’s noise. If you could be silent but a moment
all voices would cease, save the thunder of God,
rolling and booming at the horizon of your soul.

     And again

Step cautious, now, to avoid
the vinegar ants swarming toward our feet.
This day’s been weird enough already
without being consumed by them.


Jeff Carter, A is a pastor of a medium sized congregation in southern Minnesota. He writes, and paints, and sleeps, and dreams. He believes the word can be a better place.

Other works by Jeff Carter, A