Vasant 2023 Poems - Rosalie Hendon


Conversation with a Fire Ant Queen
By Rosalie Hendon


“What’s the big rush?” I ask her
as I scoop her amber body out of the water,
deposit her on the bricks.
“Your days of flight are at an end.
It’s all downhill from here.
Snapping off your wings and
laying a thousand eggs a day.
Why hurry off?
Take a minute.
Dry your wings.”

She struggles to right herself, waving her jointed legs.
“I have a date,” she says.
“He’s waiting hundreds of feet in the air for me.
My colony’s fate rests in my thorax, in my wings.
I cannot falter.”

She finds her way to her feet.
“You humans,” she addresses me regally.
“You have your career, your independence.
You’ve distanced yourself from your instincts.
You’re blinded by the idea of time.
There’s no urgency left in you.
Don’t you understand biology?
Reproduction is survival.”

With that, she takes wing,
grimly climbing toward her destiny.


White Point Garden

A bride, a groom, a gazebo
Three dances
Some vows
Live oaks overhead
Ocean breeze
Clapping, tears

You and I on the grass
Your eyes sweetly closed,
lashes curving darkly onto your cheeks
Breath soft and gentle

Make of my neck a pillow
Make of my arms your quilt
Husband, today like any other
I remember how lucky I am
to have and hold you
in good times and bad,
under the oaks and in the sea

My heart is never so full
as when I’m holding you


Rosalie Hendon (she/her) irom U.S., is an environmental planner living in Columbus, Ohio. Her work is published in Change Seven, Pollux, Willawaw, Write Launch, and Sad Girls Club, among others. Rosalie is inspired by ecology, relationships, and stories passed down through generations.


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