Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Why no silent night,
O Christmas rat, O Christmas rat?
Why thrash so,
so I can hear?
I, the hunter, who wants no prey,
who prays you'd just go away?

Why die so, and salt my suffering?

Up in the rafters you arose, such a clatter!
The hard red, warm, dry wood,
better drum than house,
raised your death rattle to a roar,
a battle royale. 
Such horrible skritches,
the snap of trap having caught
a reindeer by its paws

We were no different,
wanting the same:
Shelter and comfort,
rest from labor, peace from intrusion.

You were no rat of Christmas past,
who fattened in our larder,
mocking our dominion.
You slipped instead in a door disguised,
unseen except by keen eyes, and dined out.

I had to shut that door for good
and hunt you down:
You spread disease and reproduce and make
a mess!

We are no different.

Finally I found you. It took two tries. 
You had not flung far,
but slumped in the cream curds of insulation

under the trap where I set it.
Hiding, even in death.

I gave you this much: Only so much
as a sidelong look at your folded shape

so small and light,
before I bagged you.

And set another trap, peanut butter-baited,
because I am the hunter, and must.

I have sinned.

You sinned too:
         A creature

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