The stone slate, broken in uneven slabs,
Cemented to form a courtyard floor,
By the town hall, in Ashland,
Is laid on by lime green needles
That fell from the shady trees whose
Leaves look like miniature, green, unpainted
Oriental fans. Or like giant algae,
The size of a baby’s hand.
Scaly, feather like chips of flowers
Who have passed from their youth
At the end of a stem to this iridescent slate
Touch the stone delicately, like a woman’s hand
Illuminated in the moonlight, touched to
Her lovers face.
In some cracks, brown green piles
Of the needles, and some mulch chips gather.
An ant zig zags.
He carries something, white and pink:
A bite of the pod like feather flowers
All crisp and flaky like paper, and dead.
He marches off with his prize.
And another one goes, frantically.
The ants move, more than before, the longer
The gaze holds, the more ants appear.
They skim the stone like uncontrolled
Children driving bumper cars, or like ice skaters.