To A Mouse
(With apology to Robert Burns)
You sleek cowering little thing; I can see your poor heart beating hard. Go on now; get out of here! Run away! Shoo!I don’t want to have to chase you with the vacuum cleaner or to find your stiff and poisoned little body shriveled like an old teabag in this cupboard.
Why did you come here anyway where you do not belong?
I didn’t mean to startle you, but you gave me a fright!
It’s true this house has been empty
But it is not yours to claim
I must have it cleaned out
and ready to sell soon. We need the money.
Look at this mess! It’s a sin to waste food.
The unwanted macaroni and cornmeal that were left behind
Are now spilled and mingle with the scat
I’ll don my rubber gloves and
Throw everything away.
Poor thing, this mess must have been a feast for you.
And what a cozy little house this pantry would have made.
I can see the hole where you nibbled your way in.
You are going to have to find somewhere else to live
Because here are some blue pellets to eat
And you would be so much better off
If only you would scamper into the neighboring and browning field.
Yes, I agree that field looks pretty inhospitable this time of year.
Winter is coming and you thought you would be cozy
and the out of cold howling wind.
Anyway, that’s what you had planned
Until I came here with my poisons and cyclone vacuum machine
And you were cast out.
Too bad you didn’t make a nest out of the green leaves outside last summer.
You must have worked hard on this veritable feast.
Nearly every box of cereal and bag of rice has been spoiled.
And now you have nothing for all your trouble.
No house and no food
To sustain you through winter’s sleet and dreary white frosts.
But don’t worry; you are not alone in having your world turned upside down.
You can be a mouse or a woman and things just never turn out as we plan.
Oh, we have our expectations
But often our schemes go haywire and
What we wished for is nothing but dissipation
When we were so hopeful.
But you, little mouse, are luckier than me
Because your instincts do not include a past nor a future
I look back and see what I have come from
and it’s not much.
I look into the future and hope the prospects for selling this property
Are not dreary.