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See How the Wee Feet Clutch at Nothing

Like that I become, in small part, deer mouse
dead on the trail, left here for a reason
I must step around near the lovely house
built to code inside a wild home. Breeze-in

types keep to well-kept paths as instructed
like so. Off I walk. On my return, I note
the mouse is moving. It’s being conducted
by pure will, its mouth open like mine, throat

likely as tight. There he sits. Imagine
being married to one who animates
the dead! Look, burying beetles have won
the home lottery, he says. Some say fate

has a distinct pattern. He documents
the scene, dappled now. I register a scent.

© Brenda Schmidt
RM of Coteau, Saskatchewan

Photo Credit:

A Deer Mouse sniffs the air. These little rodents are the most common small mammals in North America. They eat a lot of insects and insect larvae.

Did you know ..

American Burying Beetles are large black insects with striking orange patches on the wing-covers and faces. Their antennae pick up the scent of rotting flesh from three kilometers away. Unlike most insects, they feed and care for their young. They are Critically Endangered in Canada but you still might get lucky and see one in Saskatchewan.

Author: Brenda Schmidt

Brenda Schmidt is the author of five books of poetry and a book of essays. Her work is included in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: Tenth Anniversary Edition. She was the seventh Saskatchewan Poet Laureate. More from Brenda here.