they’ve set traps for the rats…

they’ve set traps for the rats –
one would think who cares?
except that I’ve seen the mother
coax her young in clambering
up the long patience of her tail
to reach the seed in the feeder
long after the evening’s last birds
have flown to their repose

down the street, they’ve shot the coyote,
and are calling it mercy
one might say so what?
except that she tracked the rats
and carried them back with her
into the deep green bulwark
at the densest edge of the park
where her soft-nosed pups wait

they’ve placed a sign around the corner
and one might think it benign –
until the hard hats descend
with their chainsaws and chippers,
to fell and to sunder the cedar
whose rings will mark an age
that far surpasses this city
and glibly name it progress

© Sarah Whiteley

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