Field Mice

Walking down a desert path,
Sounds of stirring
Drew my eyes. Turning,
I beheld an object of wrath

Perhaps from the farmer’s wife.
It stopped, frozen: a deer
In headlights. A knife
Cut through my heart: fear.

Too dull, the blade, to last;
I laughed as I passed,
The mouse hoping I would not see.
Beyond his eyes, he turned to flee.

Walking down that desert path,
My eyes beheld
Another. He held
His youth as a tub a bath.

No sighting of farmer’s wife,
Too calm for cervine metaphor;
No fear of carnivore
Pierced him through with fear.

Filled with delight, he stood fast;
But before I passed,
He stopped his eating
In time to avoid a beating.

The many darting to and fro,
From hole to hole;
The two crossing the trail,
The first waiting for the second (aw, how cute!);

And the older fat one,
Too preoccupied with eating,
Too slow with his response,
So that if I had a heavier step
And a slower reaction time,
I’d be cleaning him off the bottom of my sandal.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

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