Hold the box steady, so
the ride is unlike that
once in a lifetime earth
shaking event. Keep
the box level, so he
does not slide across
the silvery floor, get
smothered by cheerios
and flakes of fine dark
chocolate. When you get
to the field by the river,
open the lid, expect
anything. One day
the mouse might streak
out as if shocked, spring-
loaded, then vanish
in a virtual tunnel of grass.
Next day, another stands
on hind legs, surveys
the immense domain,
curious about the bend
in the river, the fenced-in
garden with its forbidden
goods, the rag shadows
of raptors. Third day,
one cowers in a cell
within the box, imagines
I don’t see him, will not
poke and prod with a twig,
upset his containment.
Experts advise to carry
the mouse miles away,
so that he can’t retrace
his delicate stench, return
joyously to our house.
But this river I can see
from my porch. So any
day, consider the mouse
as same or different.
Take it as you like:
evade, escape, accept.
Each has merit.
Some will credit
the creature’s mood
or constitution, rather
than the release point,
tilt of a silver box.

Brad Clompus