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Poet’s notebook: What do I do about the mice: A pacifist's quandary'

By dlindorff - Posted on 26 December 2016

It was late,

In the middle of the second half of the night.

We were asleep.

The mice were not.

They sleep during the day.


They were very busy gnawing

on something in the wall.

It is the kind of sound

That gets to you,

It feels like it’s inside you


Like a trespass.

The breaking of a commandment.

The kiss-off of a “thou shalt not”.

And my wife was not taking it.

She was incredibly awake.


I was only half-awake

When she said,

You have to do something about the mice.

I wondered if she meant, right now.

Or tomorrow,


Which at the moment

Seemed like never.

I have been promising to do something about the mice

For years.

My wife


Is one of the most patient people on the planet.

Or maybe I am.

See, I’m a pacifist.

We have all these little

Have-a-heart traps


That really work.

But in the winter

The average day is too cold

To release the mice-people.

Sure, they are disease-carriers


And they shit and piss

Between the walls.

But they have a right to live.

I can hear the peanut gallery laughing.

I imagine a gallery of grotesque


Caricatures of humanity

Ridiculing my pacifistic,

Some might say,

Spineless, quixotic position

On what to do about the mice . . .


For the rest of this new poem by ThisCantBeHappening! resident poet GARY LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, please go

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