I don’t breathe easily.

But I do try.

I sing.
I sip tea.
I listen to the birds and cicadas.
I drink cool water and try to get enough sleep.
I walk barefoot in the yard.
I eat food grown by an old farmer down the way.

I laugh with my kids.
I hold my husband.
I know the smells and sounds and sighs of my loves when they sleep.
And today I chose to make a groove
the shape of my body in the grass
under this tree.

I chose to watch ants the size of the period
at the end of this sentence go up and down the
cracked bark, each crevice a chasm that their six
whispy legs cross with daring and duty.

They must be about their business with diligence
and surely they must be afraid for they
are so small, so fragile, so many,
But there is grace in their effort,
in their unrelenting,
in their weakness,
in their mindless hauling (is it mindless?) of grains of earth
bigger than their bodies.

How is it they never seem to lose their way?
Or tire?
Or fall out of line?

Do they know something I do not?
Or do they get lost and tired, too?

Regardless, they do not stop their work
in my hours under the tree.
But I have to believe somewhere
in their tiny way
they pause,
point an antenna to the south,
and feel the sigh of Autumn on them.
Whatever eyes they have,
maybe they close them for a moment.
whatever lungs they have,
maybe they inhale deeply at sunset.

And then to dust hauling again.

For there is much work to be done.

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