Poetry Fiction Issue

The Mice

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?

Presented by

Brendan Galvin's most recent collection, Habitat: New and Selected Poems (2005), was a finalist for the National Book Award. He lives in Truro, Massachusetts.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In