A Mouse in the House

It begins and ends here
awake in the middle of the night
ruminating about the dogs,
the kids, the actors, the poets,
the impossible nature
of middle-age.

Could it be that just as Homer
was telling the story of the Lotus Eaters
He was wishing to find such an island?
Or when Dante visited the underworld,
he was not so afraid of dying
but rather intrigued by what Hamlet
feared most, sleep.

Yes, sleep, that would be it.
Perhaps a nap somewhere
in the Caribbean, or even a few
winks here in my own bed–
how lovely to dream about
a morning arrived at like Queen Mab.

But no, the clock ticks by, the mice,
finished with their scurried race
up and down the clock, rest curled up
in their little nest, and I,
I who am waiting for the fairy dust
to settle, yawn and think,
I wish I were a mouse.

That, of course, becomes
fodder for yet another tangent
that steals fifteen more minutes
of sleep, and so I write a poem
And wonder who will care
about the mouse
except to
figure out how to snap its puny
little neck for daring to curl up
in my house.

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