An old rat, knows all the tricks,
forgets, stumbles in the trap
again, shrieks as I release it
to its fate.
A small cloud of crows passes.
The vermin runs for some shade.
Shadows meditate. The season of harvest
brings a sage
down from his mute mountain.
He knocks on every door, asks for rations.
I pour gloaming into his tote
and question about the rat’s omens.
“A rat is the sign of a rat,
of life, aging and death, begging for food
and stealing when ignored.”
Illustration Nick Victor
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