Jamie Houghton

Ants are Pickier than You


They like gumdrops and bananas,

Pot roast they love.

They drown trying to drag away your

Peppercorn rub and sweet juice trail

Across the granite

Back to the Queen ant.


The fetus also only wants

Specific things:




Green peppers.


You, on the other hand, eat what I feed you

Refuse to judge my offerings instead

Find the honey in each

Badly boiled egg or burnt batch.


You take over the cooking

And I and the fetus

Feast with the Queen.

Jamie Houghton is a writer, musician and teaching artist whose poetry chapbook, BURN SITE IN BLOOM was released by Musehick Publications in 2017, who are also publishing her collection, Hero, in 2019.

On talking to Jamie about this poem, Ants are Pickier than You, she tells us that wrote this poem while pregnant with her daughter Annie, who is now one year old. “I found the pregnancy cravings fascinating — I could not stand the smell of bacon, normally a favorite food,” while she craved food that, she tells us, she wouldn’t normally favour, like eggs. “Meanwhile, we had an ant infestation,” and also began to find their preferences interesting — “what would they take back to the Queen and what would they reject?
“I began to imagine the hidden Queen Ant, perhaps pregnant with eggs, demanding pot roast… I felt like we were all in it together, somehow.”

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