caught out


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.




the mole and the rat sit before the badger's hearth,

clothes, removed and warming by the fire,

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 dressing gowns and slippers, 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 The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 112 times
Written on 2021-03-04 at 15:57

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josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Such a magnificent telling of a tale of adventure, terro and redemption. Brilliant!