The mouse doesn’t really bother anyone. It doesn’t
go around holding up banks or shooting people
in the face or locking them up in dank jail cells
and sticking electric prods to their genitals. It doesn’t
build jet fighters and bomb our cities in the name
of peace in the middle of the night while we are sleeping.
It doesn’t plant toy mines to blow our children’s arms off.
All the mouse wants is to share with us some shelter,
food, even the warmth of its nervous body. Yet we plug up
the cupboards so it can’t eat, and we chase it around
the living room with a broom and remove all the chairs
till it has nowhere to hide; then we club it to death
as it squeals. Or we set up traps with something it likes
to lure it into strangulation and burst its eyes out
of its head. And against what? A few light scratchings
heard in the ceiling once in a while keeping us company
at night? Two or three crumbs of bread taken from
the kitchen floor? And after the mouse, there are the ants
to be poisoned, the bees to be gassed and burned.
Later, the dandelions to be choked by spraying. And after
that, after that, there must be something after that.