Waiting for Rats
by Karen Stromberg

She wants to wear a necklace
of rat tails. She wants roasted rat
at her wedding. Her boyfriend’s
gone and there’s new medication.
We’re waiting together
watching out a window,
waiting for rats.

We each hold our own vision
of how they’ll dart out of darkness.
I’ve heard them scream when the hawk comes,
She wants them running,
hunchbacked and long-tailed,
along the bottom of a wedding invitation.
She screamed when they dream-tangled in her hair.
Every future has its highs and lows.
What will we do if rats come?
What will we do if they don’t?

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