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?

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.
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