Poem: Questions for a mouse

The Great Cat – John Henry Dolph (1835-1903)

Questions for a Mouse

Written Oct 16, 2017


Where do you think you’re going
At this hour?
I was throwing some peppers that had
Gone off, must have been past it
When I bought them at the market.
Anyway, this is when I saw you, about
Quarter to one that night.
The hatch to the fire escape was closed
At that time, and you sensed movement
Me stepping out into the hall
With my rotten peppers.
Yellow, with the sides softening and caving in.

You ran along the floor
From under the fire escape shutters
To the corner of the nearby door
I looked to see where you had gone
But you had escaped through a hole I couldn’t see.

So I wondered where you went.
I didn’t know if this was the start of your day.
If you had a list of daily accomplishments that
Made you feel like you’d done something.
Drank as much coffee as you wanted.
Read a chapter in a book.
Brushed and flossed teeth
Written something new
Washed the dishes
Swallowed a vitamin
Taken exercise (something you obviously do)
Bought cat food (something you obviously don’t do)

I wonder how far you get before the traps, poison,
Cats and blocked burrows make you call it a day.


by Wendy Stewart


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