In the last three days I’ve grieved the loss of many deaths,
a squirrel frozen in a tree, dangling like an ornament,
a half dozen birds to the windowpane
The cat is collecting mice again and piling them at the foot of the bed
and I still can’t find the broom. Outside a deer
broke her leg and I’ve started to sort through pots and pans
to quiet her agony, and I wonder
if I should bludgeon her with my great-grandmother’s cast iron,
to do that thing in my head that tells me to be human.
I’ve anthropomorphized everything lately:
my dog in a sweater, all the useless clutter
that has nowhere to go. I wonder if the perigrine falcon
I saw on the news meant to eat her own daughter. If the cat
will come in tonight, if I’ll have to make room on the bed.
If you were here, we could bury these creatures together,
toast a drink to their memory, make something more of death
than the work of cleaning up.