Camille T. Dungy: Black nature (2009, University of Georgia Press) No rating

Monument by Natasha Trethewey

Today the ants are busy beside my front steps, weaving in and out of the hill they're building. I watch them emerge and—

like everything I've forgotten—disappear into the subterranean—a world made by displacement. In the cemetery last June, I circled, lost—

weeds and grass grown up all around— the landscape blurred and waving. At my mother's grave, ants streamed in and out like arteries, a tiny hill rising

above her untended plot. Bit by bit, red dirt piled up, spread like a rash on the grass; I watched a long time the ants' determined work,

how they brought up soil of which she will be part, and piled it before me. Believe me when I say I've tried not to begrudge them

their industry, this reminder of what I haven't done. Even now, the mound is a blister on my heart, a red and humming swarm.

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