The Mouse Problem

by Russell Rowland

Small brown mouse

No hole is too small
for a mouse to get into your head.

First alarm might be
a gnawing sound under floorboards.
Treating the symptom, you pound
on the floor. Sound stops,
briefly. Then resumes. Pounding
will not stop it now.

Or you find tiny black seeds
in your sock drawer, inside a piano
you mean to sell. So at last
you buy some traps, and the mouse
dies for you—a death as quick,
as uncomplicated, as its life.

If you happen to meet in the kitchen,
those frightened little eyes
could melt the murder out of you.
You recall a child gazing up like that
when Father took the belt off;
experience a wash of misericordia.

Next day you dispose of the broken
body without looking at it.

Category: Featured, Poetry