the mousetrap

I needed a pot to put a cactus in / so I went out to the stack back of the compost bin / a smorgasbord of rubble / a heinous, grievous, Leaning Tower of Trouble / things I couldn’t think what to do with / but wasn’t quite through with / plastic trays and bamboo canes / a wheelbarrow with a flat tyre / rags of gardening attire / a destrung lyre / okay, I’m lying about the lyre / but you get the point / a half-assed recycling point / where the recycling had kinda slowed and slumped / and things just got dumped / until I’d built my very own pottery Shard of Shame / my Babel of Blame / an improvised, bastardised Monument to the Wrecked / and me, the feckless architect / still, a good place to look for a pot / even though it had rained a lot / and everything was soaking wet / I hurried outside to see what I could get

I thought I’d find a chinese cup / maybe I could clean it up / and it might just be exactly the thing / to put a spiny cactus in / so I moved things around some / restacked it on the ground some / until suddenly I found / three dead mice, drowned / their pink corpses bloated and rotten / in a container with no holes at the bottom / and I guessed / that’s where they must have made their nest / and when it rained and rained and did not stop / the container filled right up to the top / and the poor mice drowned / anyway, this is what I found

it was horrible / I felt terrible / if I’d just been a little better behaved / three innocent mice could’ve been saved

there was nothing else for it / I had to do something before the cat saw it / so I tipped out the noxious soup / depositing the tragic group / on the ground / then looked around / and found / the cracked top of a jardiniere / green with mould and beyond repair / and I thought that would make the perfect pottery mausoleum / so I put it on top so the cat wouldn’t see ‘em

I went out to the pile last night / the garden bright with moonlight / stood in the biting air with my hands in my pockets / and saw them, three little ghosts with eyeless sockets / turning their heads to sniff the air / smiling when they sensed me there / ‘never shake thy gory locks at me!’ I cried / screamed / ran back inside / put some (very small) obstacles against the door / what for / I’m not quite sure / and anyway / we’ve still got the cat

(would three ghost mice be scared of that?)

2 thoughts on “the mousetrap

  1. Brilliant- this one definitely lends itself to performance. Do you ever read your poems aloud for an audience! It’s nerve wracking but very satisfying x

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    1. Thanks very much, Sue!
      I’ve thought about it – and I know there are poetry slams I could go to. It’d be a good way to meet other writers, too (it’s quite a solitary thing otherwise…)
      How about you? Do you write & perform?

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