A house mouse scuttles along the counter top,
three crumbs from the toaster and some peanut butter,
one last supper.
Then the trap crunches shut, dark eyes chrome over
oil black like freshwater pearls in a wave of brown fur.

Other mice will take this as an act of warfare.
They will assemble beneath the cooker
squeaking of the great belled beast,
and the weapons used against them.

They will become sly out of spite.
They do not care for the park we released them to.
Across the dual carriage way isn’t far from their generational home;
and the mice can cross roads you know,
in the daytime, or the dead of night.
They cannot read the traffic lights,
but when the cars are parked, they make the pilgrimage to 173.

In under the front door, through the airing bricks,
or cracks in other houses on that strip.
They’ve built a military base in the wall behind the sofa,
where they send missions to the kitchen,
or decide when to strike, or wonder why
humans break the laws of warfare.

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