Hmong people say one’s spirit can run off,
Go into hiding underground.
Only the physical stays behind.
To heal, a shaman checks on the spirit
By scraping the earth,
Examining the dirt.
If an ant emerges,
He takes it inside,
Careful not to crush the ant with his hold,
Nor flutter its being into shock
With one exhale.
Sometimes we hide in ants, he says.
He will call for what left
to come back,
and for the found
to never leave.