The mouse discovered in the sweater drawer
does not wrestle with decisions. Before
I’ve reached the attic and brought down

a box suitable for transfer, she’s gone.
The rubbery pink babies wriggle, blind.
What now? I’m frozen by her stark response,

resist its blunt efficiency. I don’t need
the sweater, don’t even like it. I’ll go without.
I want her to come back, carry them off

as a mama cat nips her young by their necks,
trots away dangling their limp bodies. Her
lesson’s clear: Cut your losses, begin again.

:: Ron Mohring, Amateur Grief (1998)

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