Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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
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: