If you’ve ever seen a wolf

If you’ve ever seen a wolf
in the wild – or so the old
saying goes – it’s seen you

a thousand times before.
So maybe the same is true
of a mouse. Think of whenever

you’ve been alone and made
the most of that moment:
you’ve sung so loud; invented

a dance; bounced on your bed
like a kangaroo. And once, just
once – you may have discovered

that you were watched
by a mouse: apricot-brown,
with two unblinking, ebony eyes.

So what to do? Nothing.
Be good to your whiskery
neighbour: it will not judge,

nor laugh at you, nor grade
your dance out of 5. Just let
it return to the world below,

knowing your home
is no longer
your own.


© James Carter

By kind permission of the poet