Humane Killings

For Howard Debs

Wire Cutter Magazine gives the best advice
About how to kill black ants that have invaded

Your home. And though ants aren’t as bad as lice,
they can carry bacteria from the toilet to your food.

The writers warn if you try to kill vermin the wrong way,
you could worsen the problem, so they strongly recommend

T334, an “aesthetically pleasing ant killing station” that targets
Indoor ants and tricks them into destroying their colony.

For the annoying mounds of red ants, you want eliminated
(and the makers apologize) you’ll need the stronger

Syngenta Advion Fire Ant Bait, which all the experts,
Despite competitors, agree has the most effective ingredient—

A slow, syrupy poison that, with a few tablespoons, spread
Over your yard will give maximum protection for several acres.

About the Poem

I don’t know why the headline caught my eye, but it did. And as I read more, especially with T300 and T334 poison which boasted an “aesthetically pleasing ant-killing station, “ my mind went immediately to the logic of the Nazi T4 program’s search for humane methods of extermination.

About the Author

Geoffrey Philp is a poet and fiction writer. His poems and short stories have been published in World Literature Today, Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, sx salon, Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, Rattle: Poets Respond, and Crab Orchard Review. Philp’s poem, “A Prayer for my Children” is featured on The Poetry Rail at The Betsy–an homage to 12 writers that shaped Miami culture. He is currently working on a graphic novel for children, “My Name is Marcus.

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