Wrote this one decades ago, amended it some. Not cheery but neither are certain male world leaders.
22,000 or so ant species (1 human species).
Argentine Carpenter Fire Weaver Soldier Leafcutter . . .
There’s something about ants crawling inside out.
Females work, care for the queen and her brood.
Male ants have glossy wings, mate repeatedly, drop dead.
Argentines suck spilled soda on parking lots
Carpenters bore nests inside dead wood and scavenge
Fire ants, venom armed, build massive subway cities
Weavers silk leaves into arboreal nests
Soldiers’ mandibles draw-and quarter crawlers and pick bones bare
Leafcutters cut and plant subterranean fungus gardens . . .
Their skeletons are inside out.
We marvel at their orderly roles, assigned hierarchies, cooperation,
division of labor, family loyalty, parenting devotion, insect purpose.
Some are racist—red and black ants attack, destroy, plunder.
Some raid, steal eggs or larvae and raise them as slaves or dinner.
They are ourselves, inside out.