Countin' Ants

by Daniel Peterson

The only thing
I think I've seen
a thousand times before
(but have not seen)
repeats in noses, phrases, poses and faces --
a complex collection
of Connecticut-expressions:
complexions, concoctions of contortions and conceptions.
I draw these connections from
the same ingredients,
inspired by Grecian gods --
great Greek hollow eyes,
haunting as they follow
generations of seminal faces,
I've seen, yet, somehow,
have never seen before.


Author's Note: Sitting in a San Diego airport, looking at all the people go by... gently amazed that, with the limited number of features we have available to work with (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.), there've never been two faces to look exactly alike... and yet, seeing all these faces I'd never seen before, each one was completely expected, entirely reasonable. A tribute to the infinite complexity, and at the same time simplistic uniqueness, of the human face. (Did anyone catch the meaning of the title? I'm a sucker for puns...)

--Addendum (Jun '05): I wrote this poem long before I became obsessed with listening to Rufus Wainwright's 2001 album, Poses. Going back and reading this poem, I noticed that it used the word "poses" (which happens to be the album's title track) and it references the word "Greek" (the best song on the album happens to be called "Greek Song"). Pretty weird, huh?

Posted on 12/14/2004
Copyright © 2023 Daniel Peterson

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kyle Anne Kish on 12/14/04 at 05:31 PM

Great poem, Daniel, and isn't it amazing where our ideas for poems appear? I have lived in IL, MD, NV and PA. <---- Regarding faces, I have often seen someone from a distance, in passing, in a crowd, etc., and felt they were so similar to someone I knew in another state I lived in ... I would have to to take a second glance. However, upon looking closer ... yes, they were different. Interesting take on your poem. ~~ Kyle Anne

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 11/29/06 at 11:25 PM

Enjoyed this, thanks for the read!

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