I spent my early childhood back East
(Manhattan-born, Long Island reared to 8),
and sure I have strong memories, not least
the insects Mom would burn to death or bait.
She never minded summer fireflies.
She swatted other bugs and was appalled
whenever ants invaded. She’d devise
a death by seething water. Mom would scald.
Those bugs were huge compared to what beset
our California dwellings. Come the rain
and we have myriads of tiny ants.
We squish them with a fingertip. We set
out traps and Windex-spray. We find no train
or trail to treat. They’re here. I have no chance.