A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2007, vol 3 no 1

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Martin Gottlieb Cohen

My Journey with a Mouse

It is close to midnight and I am watching a movie on TV, when to my surprise I see a mouse stepping forward with its right forefoot and pause with its left forefoot in the air, then continue.

kitchen floor
the nightlight reddens
the mouse's ears

Soon after, I discover dead fleas where it had been. They are huge. What killed them is a mystery, and that makes me even more determined to return the lost mouse to the park across the street. I have a cage to catch it so I could release it in the grass. But, I can't get it to work. Disappointed, I place a simple trap and doze off in the chair until a shrill cry wakes me. I find the dead mouse and take it to the dumpster, but before letting go I tell it how sorry I am.

morning crow caws
the mouse's wrinkled brow caught
under the trap