DEATH OF A RAT

Drawing of rat

the back door open
for the last of summer
the rat
comes in
brown blur moving
under night
comes in
and goes to the
kitchen
it is a
restaurant
to the rat
and he goes and
hides in the cupboard

i’ve decided
it’s a he
as you can see
cause only a he
would do
what he did
a she would have
been smarter
would have snuck
out at the first
opportunity or
wouldn’t have even
come in in
the first place

he goes in the
cupboard and spends
the night tearing the
plastic bag to bits
and eating the
sweet potato
and generally ratting
around in
his new humanoid
castle

now i don’t surmise
all this until the
next day when i go into
the cupboard and
find the sweet
potato munched
and think wow
these mice sure
are hungry

we’ve had mice
before so i go
to the basement
and get my trusty
mousetraps

being an old trapper
from way back
i smile with
confidence that
as sheriff i can
clean up my town
no problemo

we are eating lunch
and beloved hears
something like nibbling
i can’t believe it
i open the cupboard
and what stares up
at me with a
what the hell do
you want look
but a big brown rat
with a mouth full
of sweet potato
he doesn’t move
just gives me this
whatever look

i close the door
quickly and shudder
i am immediately
taken back to being
a technician in the
bio chem lab where
i have to terminate
rats and extract
their testicles
in order to get
enzymes or something
for certain experiments

there i am an executioner
i have my kill training
from the head scientist
i learn to be
forthright and
somewhat brutal
to submerge my
squeamishness as
i grab them by
their hairless tail
and swing them
barnyard style
crunching them
on the lab counter
so they are stunned
hit them again if
still moving but
don’t kill them
cause they gotta
bleed
then slip their
neck into the
metal notch of
the rat guillotine
and sever head
from torso letting
them bleed into
the sink as the
head rolls in
true french
revolution fashion
eyes left staring
at me with
blank condemnation
of me
of my society
and a rattus promise
to haunt my very
unrat soul
after all who was i
to cut off heads
and extract testicles
of unsuspecting rodents

ah so where was i
yes back to the story
there i am
shitting bricks cause
i just saw a brown
rat eating my sweet
potato and i
am the one who
is going to
have to do him

ah lest we forget
was this fate because
of my past rat crimes
or was this
luck because
only i could rid
us of this scourge
either way it was
me and for sure
this was not a
rat happy or
humanoid happy
moment

like all short fat
commanders with
a dirty hand
scratching belly
i who am not
the above pretend
i can be
as i plan the attack

the art of war
by sun tzu
is visualized
i think about
weight lifting
drink a few beers
and visualize again
this time it is
my lab guillotine
with its simple
silver metallic
lines of death

nothing helps so
i construct an
alleyway of
things like
books boxes
and wood
making a runway
to the back door
then i open
all the cupboard
doors and bang
with a stick to
chase him out
and down the chute
like i would a cow
but a rat is not
a cow
i know it is laughing
at me so i
quickly give up and
ponder the next move
...traps...

mice i’ve trapped for
decades at the cabin
if there is justice
they will get first
crack at my carcass
just by virtue
of sheer numbers
decimated
but to trap a rat
is like hunting boar
i too can get hurt
physically and
psychically

Rat trap

i buy two big
victor rat snap traps
and i’m telling
you those suckers
can break a hand
with their hair triggers
thereby giving clear
insight into that
rat death moment
of snap ahhhhhhh
though some take a
long time to succumb

ah push on
don’t think
that does damage
to the endeavor
every time

hide the fear
and act
follow
the motto

so load the two traps
one with the gnawed
sweet potato and
the other with
blue cheese for
a different bouquet
the last meal feel
laying the traps side
by side in the spot
where the potato
has been
close the door
sit back and wait
ahhhh
another rat beer
hands in tact
distance from the
dreaded rat
ahhh
then
what
twenty minutes later
snap
and snap
and
fucking squealing
and oh my gawd
and crashing
crashing
squealing
hey no one said
they could squawk
and scream and
give cries of agony
i thought they
were mutes
this is not fair
none in the lab
ever did that
but then
in their ignorance
of my intentions
they were
blissful
though doomed
smack
cut
bleed
hey no sound there
but for the blade
parting the head
from the rest

then silence in
the cupboard
then more
crashing into
pans and
now squawks
oh my gawd
this is a reason
for AK 47’s
so
so
so
have to act
get up and open
the cupboard
for a peek
just a few inches
to see the smashing
writhing of mr
brown rat with
one trap around
his neck (sweet potato)
and the other (blue cheese)
clamped to his tail
like an anchor
then slam it shut
now what
got to think fast
can’t afford
to be the pacifist
the fearful
the squeamish
remember
it’s you or him
you started it
now finish it
or you are no
better than a rat
no
no
no rat i say
i can do it

so i put on gloves
get a pail
get some sticks
open up the cupboard
and drag the
writhing mass of
rat and traps
into the pail
with more
gawd awful squealing
and for good reason
in my mind i am
joining it in sympathy
the rat symphony
by rat and me
and then i process
out to the garden hose
and begin to
fill up the
pail to end the
existence of mr rat
i sing his
praises of courage
and appetite
as the water rises
the squealing like
a clear pure blade
into the heart of
everything
then nothing
the tide calming
the kicking fathoms
below lessening
the traps and
rat trying to float
but being held down
by the death
utensils

after a respectful time
so the rat soul can
do its religion
i bring up the
catastrophe and
lie it on the ground
anywhere else it
would be
performance art

the waxy eyes
the dark skinny
carcass
i unhook the
death traps
and put the heroic
mr rat in a
plastic bag and
in the
garbage bin

all week
whenever
i open the bin
i say a little
something
a good wish
advice for the
afterlife rat world
maybe a bit of song

he is a warrior
in my mind
i have immortalized him

the question is
if we meet in
the here-rat-after
will he do
the same
for me

Rat photo

 

Winston says: Get me the hell out of here