the mole and the rat are caught out in the open
during a winter storm. it is no joke
and they are not laughing. not only that,
being caught out in the wild wood
during a winter storm adds a layer of terror.
on top of that, the short days of winter
and the quickly fading light brings a sense,
more than a sense—the reality, of panic.
if that weren't enough—injury, a sharp object,
a cut shin—it is too much, too much—cold,
frightened, the snow deepening, too tired
to take another step, a sadness falls upon them,
or, almost a sadness, the kind that comes when all is lost,
and hope is a flickering flame in the wind.
moly and ratty sit before the badger's fire,
clothes, cold and sodden, removed and drying,
replaced with dressing gowns and slippers.
bellies full, the mole's injury bandaged, psyches intact,
the wind through the willows faint,
the sense of panic, the reality of panic, now a sense of,
the reality of, well-being. warm and content—
the fire, the warm clothes, the repast, the sticking plaster,
all from the kind and generous hands of the badger,
and what was terror, what was panic, is now a tale
to be told and retold of good fortune, of providence,
and something more, but just what that something was
that led the mole and the rat to the badger's door is hard to say.
perhaps it was the rat's native intelligence, his innate optimism.
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, 1908
Poetry by one trick pony
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Written on 2021-03-04 at 15:57
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