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The rats conduct nocturnal rites

on my bedroom roof, dancing,

chasing each other

in noisy figure eights.

I cannot sleep.

The bed is right below.

They love to tantalize.


I set the traps with cheese and peanut butter,

tie the cheese with string,

put them out late at night

after birds are hunkered in their nests.

Soon after sunrise

I check my harvest

but sometimes not soon enough.

So far, fifteen rats, but a gold finch

and a sparrow,

Should I quit?

What ratio of bird to rat

is tolerable, is worth

my good night’s sleep?

Not two to fifteen. One to ten?

One to twenty?

Is one finch worth one sparrow?

This is not a calculation,

a balancing,

I want to make.


Maybe get a cat …

No … not a cat.