Running back to Beverley

Slowing – out of breath

Noticed by the roadside

Innocent in death

Solitary rodent

Coiled in foetal curl.

Took the chance to stop and muse

The ironies of this world.

Scurrying through history

Dirty and diseased

Bearing pestilence and plague

Buboes, boils and fleas

Biting, bitten, devilish hordes

Scampering pell-mell

Longtails whipping frenziedly

Messengers from hell.

Yet here alone - beside the road - open to inspection

This solitary creature caused a moment of reflection.

Its paws were poised in silent prayer

Pink eyes sought out blind skies

Incisive dentures gnawed no more

Whiskers twitched at the wind’s soft sighs

And this was not a devil caked in filth and dirt

But a harbinger of heaven, angelic in its hurt

And will there somewhere be another

Missing brother, father, son?

Mourning the passing of this lone rat

In its turn now overrun

I resumed my run to Beverley

Regained my second breath

With thoughts of love and loneliness

And liveliness and death

Uncertain of my destiny

The how, the when, the where

I turned my own eyes heavenward

And breathed a wordless prayer


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