The mouse scampers across the counter
after a long stay in that hole
where she has stashed her bits and babies.
Her climb over the basket's fruit
to an escape behind the gas stove
erupts in sudden panic. I shriek and she hastens
home so fast I can't fathom
if the fur was brown or patched, if it was a second or seconds.
A petite thing. The wind-up clock won't remember
but my bones record the shock, the jolt
of being cornered between distraction
and dismay. I was lingering in the idyll
of rain cleansing our garden: leaves and grass,
a wall knotted with vines. Its stone Book of Kells
when she broke into my solitude. A rodent, striving not to starve
and sustain its young. Unlike her, I've never felt
so desperate except in dreams -- where I can't find you
(with an umbrella in hand)
scavenging the street for coins, threads, thoughts, whispers...
anything shaken from your shirt or shadow.