A newborn mouse clung to life in the kitchen,
Where I nearly kicked it as I filled the kettle,
And then unconsciously decided it was a he,
And that he was dead.
But his minuscule entirety quaked.
After whole minutes of paralysis,
I put a glass over his shivering frame,
And slid a piece of cardstock beneath,
Then took him outside like a bothersome spider,
Leaving him on a rock to wave barely perceptible limbs at no one.
What an easy symbol, I joked later.
If I used it in fiction, you’d roll your eyes.
And I waited for someone to explain to me that symbolism,
So I might know why I still find myself short of breath,
My mind echoing with silent cries.