Keeping House
John Popielaski

                do not worry.
                I keep house casually.

I used to be content to let the hoard
of field mice enter like illusionists
and scurry where their whiskers led
and squeak like new shoes
on the floor beam while my wife
was busy with the wash.

A floor joist and a sill plate gnawed
not quite to compromise but close
made riddance seem more logical
than reasoning like Saint Francis
when it’s clear they will not listen.

I release another snapped neck
from the same old Victor trap
and leave the little carcass on the path
where foxes pass in darkness,
heads low, my conspirators.

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