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Clade Song 10 left

Clade Song 10

Elegy for a Stink Ant of the Cameroon

                        (Megaloponera foetens)

The ant driven mad
by inhaling a spore

from the millions that drift
down around him
for years,

the one impelled
to climb a twisted
vine in a crazy

dash to the top,
who nails
the vine’s stalk

with his mandibles,
impales it then dies
there like that

(emitting a tortured
cry even humans
can hear); who

sprouts a one inch
horn in death,
an ant unicorn—

that one who grew up
on the rainforest floor:
a speck, a chitin fleck,

no more.


Clade Song 10 right
Susan Kelly-DeWitt is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and the author of Gravitational Tug (Main Street Rag, forthcoming 2020), Spider Season (Cold River Press, 2016), The Fortunate Islands (Marick Press, 2008) and nine previous small press collections and online chapbooks Her work has appeared in many anthologies, and in print and online journals at home and abroad. She is cutrrently a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Northern California Book Reviewers Association. For more information, please visit her website at