local_library Termite Storm

by Christine M Du Bois

Published in Issue No. 289 ~ June, 2021

Termites chewing inside my head,

making tiny, tiny chopping noises;

some flying, swarming before they mate,

making more—more termites,

for more chewing.

My head feels heavy, frenzy-exhausted.

I can’t really talk.

I can’t make a poem

out of relentless chewing.

Could I really take those tense little teeth

and those frenetic little wings

and make music?

Is that what those eggs laid so long ago

in my brain

in my mistakes

in my regrets

in my worries

require of me?

We long for the day when swords

will be beaten into plowshares —

but all I want today

is to beat termites into

a poem, and hope to lay my

painful head on my pillow

until the termites quiet down

and forgive me,

and leave me alone,

and leave me to settle

into acceptance

and peace.


account_box More About

Dr. Christine M. Du Bois is a cultural anthropologist who has published three non-fiction books, most recently _The Story of Soy_ (Reaktion Press, 2018). She has had poems published at BourgeonOnline.com and the blog of Prospectus magazine, with others forthcoming at PonderSavant.com and in the CAW Anthology. She is also a precinct Judge of Elections near Philadelphia—where apparently bad things happen.