This is a poem about a (financially) poor single mother - me.
It brings it all back.
The animal creeping through the darkened
dining room was bigger than a mouse.
I was sitting in the dim light of a single lamp one room away
children's voices floated from the drafty upstairs bedrooms,
cold air wafted through open crevices and thresholds
as news of the Gulf War babbled from the TV screen.
It came from beneath the window seat, a hole
in the rotten floorboards by the radiator
through the pitiful damaged latticework
that was meant to hide the rust and peeling paint.
As my head turned toward the unexpected motion
my heart said mouse, but my mind knew.
Stealthily it slithered to the remnant bird seeds
under the cage on the floor of the adjacent room.
The next night
up through the hole by the cellar laundry tub drain
a trap, a loud snap
the children and I went down to look.