The tiny creature runs in circles
on my living room floor like
a windup toy. It’s real though,
a field mouse wounded by my cat.
I ease it out the front door
in a plastic kitchen container,
hoping without hope it will survive
the icy weather. When my cat spots
another mouse, I restrain her until
it escapes into the spare bedroom
and later buy a trap designed
to capture, not kill. I listen
as a friend brags about a family
of mice he annihilated using a single
piece of chocolate. I wince, wonder
why I have gone so soft, a guy who
waged a 20 year's war against
squirrels on his bird feeders, pelting
them with pebbles from a sling shot.
Wonder, too, why I now have to look
away from road kill as if part of me
lies there too.