This morning in the cold shed
I unlocked two from traps
with a trowel, freeing them for
the brushpile, where overnight
something will recycle them.

They are whole in this weather,
self-contained, and their eyes
looked up—beady, yes, but
sincere about their inability
to comprehend why chewing holes
in my rubber waders is wrong.

Then I remembered when you
were little how I used to tell you
I drove them to the P & B bus stop
and bought them tickets.

Can you still see them as I do now,
Dead End Kids clambering
up the steps in their plaid caps
and plus fours, heading for
the back window, where they’ll
wave until the bus
turns for the highway?