Miniscule Murder

Pulling weeds per my mom’s request.
The patches of grass had bravely grew through driveway cracks and made the cement look a little too grey for my parent’s liking.
I’m out of a job.
My mom offered to pay me.
I’m pulling weeds,
Squatting barefoot next to tiny green forests I pull bare handed.
Between my fingers I squeeze towards the roots, twist, and pull.
Dirt comes with, dusting the driveway.
This pull and toss game happens a few times.
I get to a plant that’s a little harder to pull.
I twist twice.
Not as much dirt disperses this time but what I saw underneath made me stop my plant plucking.
Hundreds of them.
To me, the chaos was little.
It was dirt that would blow away over night
But I’m afraid I might have made those ant’s lives a lot harder.
I might have turned their night from casual to overtime.
I squatted closer,
A gaping hole where a plant used to be rooted no sits between slabs of hard concrete.
I wonder what’s underneath it all and I look closer.
At first I thought they were rebuilding, bringing dirt chunks into their home to stack the walls tall again.
But I looked again…
The ants were carrying the dirt outwards,
Not replacing.
They were hurrying like I had buried their family.
I watched an ant climb straight up the side with a rock at least six times it’s size.
I saw the ant shake when the weight of the rock got caught on a twig,
But he kept shaking,
And shaking,
Like I shook the dirt off the roots of each plant I picked.
Like I shook the plant from it’s spot.
And I realized,
I am not just pulling weeds.
I am complicating things for many more than myself.
I could be a mass murderer and not even know it.
Those ants will be working all night.
I would help them if I could but I’m afraid I wouldn’t fit.
I’m much too big and I can’t speak their language.
There’s more grass at the end of the driveway I need to pull before my parent’s get home.


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