Blind Rat has learned
not to look too long or hard
over the years he’s gnawed away,
a life longer than most rats live.
Survival, he has discovered, depends
entirely on the sliminess of strangers.
It’s not about the quick or the dead,
though they will do. It’s more about
the other stirring senses. Born
with curly super-long whiskers,
and a sweeping, sturdy tail
which work like radar and sonar,
he’s always assumed this world
to be one shaped to the senses
that best support his needs and whims.
It’s not such a far leap when you’re
the center that holds together
the universe and its unnamed cousins.
His sense of smell is second to none,
and squeaks loudly and overlordly
to his taster tongue which would otherwise
seek the throne, if only for a shortened reign.
As it stands, he’s proud of his blindness,
even thankful for its presence allowing
the life he has, and which he foresees
(he’s not without humor) will last
until he nests in a gated retirement colony.
Dawn slides across the skillet
of the sky, runny, running for life,
setting its sights on a bank of clouds
cruising across the bay, having no where
to go and little urgency to get there. It reflects
on today’s beginnings, compares and contrasts
them with the day before, and the day before
that, and many other days before, until boredom
recapitulates by raising its designer curtains
and shouts curses in Esperanto at squirrels
scattering seed from bird feeders, at which dogs howl
from the depths of morning naps while cats yawn
and stretch telescopic legs. General ennui
marches forward in 2/5 time, ever mindful
of the landmines opportunity has laid ahead.
© Richard Weaver
Richard Weaver lives in Baltimore City where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, acts as the Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit college, and is the official poet-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub and Restaurant. He is the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press). Recent poems have appeared in River Poet’s Journal,Southern Review, Little Patuxent Review, Loch Raven Review, Adelaide, Slush Pile, and Elsewhere. (Yes, there is a magazine named Elsewhere).