The Rats: And Other Poems

The Rats: And Other Poems

The Rats: And Other Poems

The Rats: And Other Poems

Excerpt

How did they begin? What oracular sound
Reached us from platforms underground?
What nuzzle moved against the humid clay?
What well-clawed feet scratched into ocular day?

They waited at first, sleek-bellied rats
Whose memories (kept dry in old tin-hats)
Were parchment-read and spread--then lit
As torches to illumine for these rats
The runnels and the tunnels of each pit.

Why did they not die, not die
Not suffer from inhuman thunder-rain
From neanderthal misery and cold
In those ravines where lamp-posts close the eye--
And turn such evolution, like a friend,
Back from the high wall of some dark dead-end?

They would not and will not be claimed
For trial by the martyred, dead or maimed.
Revenge was not the fashion: those who shoved
Were put no fatal question, a balanced glove
Ignored upon their shoulders, while in the mines
Unchallenged diggers sent out signs
Of geologic stairways built on bones:
A noise of rodents nosing through the stones.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.