Ants Around the Basin

These travellers must have come from arid lands,
Drawn as they are to the flood-plains here
Where splashes from ablutions fall
In puddles where these ants may drink.

Tenacious, they hold to their collective purpose;
Though I swipe at them daily with moistened rag,
Their kin replace them unabashed by the evening
Like small settlers firmly set on their obscure mission:

Only, perhaps, a water-hole, sizeable by their dimensions,
A reservoir of soapy excess collecting by the sink,
Or if they, like us, are drawn to this safe place of vanity,
A watery mirror in which to view their plucky selves?

Are they here to bathe in the refuse of our cleanliness?
To scout out the soil by this Terra Nullius basin?
Or are they simply drawn by compulsion, addiction,
To a sweetness found here but known only to them?

Firm in this mission they brave again the straits
And the ceramic hills, withstand the slopes,
The gathering grime, all somehow in aid
Of a place of plenty worth every almost certain death.

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