Combat in a New Mode

The moving crumbs are on the march
across the thawing land.
They’ll occupy our homes as nests
if we don’t take a stand.

Arising up from where they’ve been,
below our sight and mind,
foraging scouts are launching forth
for goodies they can find.

We fool ourselves our homes are clean,
not seeing what survives,
the tasty morsels that attract
formicidae to our hives.

Despite our blind complicity,
we can’t forsake the field;
instinctive folk, relentless foe,
they’re not about to yield.

Buy up the poison sprays and traps,
deploy them at the breach.
Except–that’s deadly wrong today!
instead, here’s where we reach:

a new approach, unlike the past,
when mindlessness was rife,
and no one had a greening thought
’bout taking a tiny ant’s life.

Ants have a niche we must preserve
in earth’s ecology chain.
Destroying them is not the way
to guard their role, maintain

the scale that homo sapiens tilts–
who knows how far off kilter?
For answers, call in the web’s
ever-spinning quilters.

Or cinnamon, mint, vinegar, chalk,
one might just do the trick,
repel the advancers, back, toward our neighbors…
without making other living things sick.

Previously published online in 2008 on Safer Pest Control Project website
(now Midwest Pesticide Action Center)