Animal Cabinet

by Macaulay Glynn

In spite of the citywide curfew your dog
takes off running through
rain. You can't tell the 
worms from the asphalt, the wet 
light of a streetlamp over living things or
lawn clippings, or the nearby whistle-
moan of a mourning train from the Morse-
percussed manifesto of the mouse 
in the walls, here, where your dog 
now dries herself on your bedspread,
the place where you can still hear at least
one mouse, whose kind
you evicted in droves last spring behind
the stove (and this was before you found
the plaster behind a cabinet 
eaten away) whose kind you carried
with the plastic trap towel-
wrapped under your coat to keep
warm--each of them looked different,
and it was the young ones whose glinting eyes
you held in your mind as you marched
to the treeline behind the foodbank so many nights
last March, dark and almost-wooded enough 
to believe the last one must still be around here 
somewhere, the streets end 
you approached in solemn pajamas
glad, once, to be holding a living thing in 
spite of, no matter, no matter how many 
times you caught and released, and told yourself
it was different than killing.

back to University & College Poetry Prizes