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Mice ©

Paul Murdoch
Alexandria, Scotland

The hickory beams hang heavy, dark and ancient,
Cracked and split with splendid invention.
And as candlelight flickers over the twisted members, thick and laden;
A track, a sign, some shift of air should let us know they're here.
But not so.
We are blind.
They depend upon such things: sloth, indifference, denial.
So, they watch us, quivering in trepidation, drenched in anticipation.
"When will they stop? When will they snuff out their light-sticks
And drain their cups?"
Then, as the clock strikes one, our eyes grow heavy and they stir.
They scratch and scurry,
Primordial senses preparing their taste buds for sustenance.
They move as one; a mass of sinuous fur and skin they wind their way,
Down like spiders they glide over whitewashed walls,
Stippled and rendered for their ease.
They spill over our decadence and waste.
They waltz and chatter, unabashed and ravenous.
Their naked tails flicking and twitching in ecstasy,
No morsel will be neglected.
No feline smells,
No scent of man;
They feast and forage neath night's mantel.
Despised and undiscovered,
They thrive.

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