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Mother’s Day (or The Year of the Metal Rat Apocalypse)

Cordelia Blanchard 3 years ago

Mother’s Day (or The Year of the Metal Rat Apocalypse)

I found a
dead rat today
attempting to make
its way home
into my attic
stricken with the poison
I so carefully left by its front door.
Worm tail laid bare
on the grass,
eyes open, blank, staring
at a future it would never know.
A baby (her baby?)
crawled nearby
trying to nurse
as if to grieve.

I grieve today.
Thinking of my own mother
lost too early from a poison
grown organically inside her.
I am torn between sadness
and relief
for the rat,
for this lost year, and
for my own waning emptiness —
that shallow pool
of black water known only
to children who lose their mothers.

The baby rat and I are kindred,
both losing something so precious.
And on today of all days.

My dog sniffed out the death.
Standing over it silently,
with a confusion she fails to grasp.
With an aloofness caused
by her own innocence.
Just as I did,
that day in September,
when I said goodbye,
knowing without understanding
the finality of my words.

There is so much life
teeming around me
birds chirping,
bugs hovering above my head
yet all I can see is the blank stare,
the empty expression
that, as if to play God,
I caused.
To keep my house clean,
free of other life
and sanitized of viruses
(real and imagined),
I mourn, because so
on Mother’s Day,
I killed a rat.

To learn more about author and artist, Cordelia Blanchard, visit her ArtProfiler contributor page or her website.


  1. Joan Corey May 15, 2020

    I love you so much, Cordelia…
    Your mom was soooooo proud of you….


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