Beside The Night Stand

(Inspired by “Beside the Waterfall” by Mary Oliver, 1993)

At daybreak
        the large cat-
                 Jake by name-
                          Reached down

Under the bed—dust and bottle caps mostly—
        Under the white
                          And dragged out,

In plain view,
        a mouse;
                 it was extremely tiny,
                          like a small toy

and, blessedly,
        it was dead.
                          examined the

tiny soft brown body and then
                          the beautiful delicate body,

tossing it and
        tossing it back and
                 crunching it.
                          And during this time

the light was growing brighter
        When I spoke his name
                 Jake simply glanced at me.
                          White flecked around the muzzle

and with soft glance
        he, too, if you can see it
                 had a face like the mouse; and then it was daylight

which had been dawning all the while anyway
        sun broke
                 clear of the pines and dropped its bloody pink light
                          over everything

Published in La Presa Issue 10, Fall 2020