“Excavation” by Lowell Jaeger

“Sandmachine” Image courtesy of Dariusz Klimczak

They’d carved
(this army of ants)
in the gravel . . .
an expressway!

My son and I stood watching
constant traffic.
Frenzied comings
and goings.

Aztecs.  Egyptians.
Giant blocks heaved
shoulder to shoulder,
bits of leaf and bark.

The hive mounding,
grain by grain
proudly skyward.
Whatever their plan

our lunchtime ended.
My son in the backhoe
and I with my spade
ripped the earth

beneath them.  Another
civilization lost.  Buried.
We laid a hundred
yards of crushed-rock

driveway that afternoon.
All the while, glancing
over our shoulders.
Feeling small.



Lowell Jaeger founded Many Voices Press and compiled Poems Across the Big Sky, an anthology of Montana poets, and New Poets of the American West. His third collection of poems, Suddenly Out of a Long Sleep (Arctos Press) was published in 2009 and was a finalist for the Paterson Award. His fourth collection, WE, (Main Street Rag) was published in 2010. He received fellowships from the NEA and the Montana Arts Council and won the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse.

Read an interview with Lowell here.

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