Years later, I suddenly think of you
scuttling through the walls of my cabin
in Flagstaff, where I’d come to escape.
I never saw you, only heard your little feet
skittering over the baseboard heater,
moving through the holes in the wall.
Oh, I didn’t mind; I wasn’t really asleep,
and hadn’t been for months back then.
And in a way, your visiting made sense:
we’d likely come for similar reasons,
though too exhausting to list mine now.
Anyway, I want to say that I’m sorry
about what lay underneath my bed;
how could I have known it was there?
When I heard it snap, I sat up sharply,
sure your life would end right then.
But instead, I listened to your persistence:
your little feet scratching at the trap,
those long silences, then more rustling,
the old trap sliding across the floor.
Once I considered just getting up,
and, well, how shall I say it—fixing
the situation in one way or another.
But instead, I just lay there awake,
then left the cabin the next morning,
never daring to learn of your fate.
These days, I still imagine you escaped:
found your way into a wide-open field,
but mainly, I just picture your carcass,
still pinned beneath a cold silver lever.