Somewhere in the bedroom a common cricket

trills with inhibition like something bashful,

quavers growing ever more metronomic,

shaking the shadows,

rousing the rat terrier, height of fierceness,

blessed with ears of keenness and legs of lightness,

denticles of devilry. Hear it? Hear it?

Where is it hiding?

There it is! The acme of bouncy vigor

lacquered in the lamplight between the bookshelf,

bed, and table, preening its tarsal toenails,

taking a breather,

nonchalant—its glistening tar-black noggin

wigwags side to side as if deep in daydream,

pondering the blizzards that soon will bluster,

rattle the windows.

Dauntless Duncan, jittery as a jailbird,

promptly breaks the calm with a strident barking,

rushes like Sir Galahad toward the bug and,

savagely pouncing,

shreds its heart, blue hemolymph slowly seeping.

Quietude returns as the hero slumbers

heedless of the others beyond these ramparts,

scraping and crooning,

warbles growing longer and longer, evenings

cooling like an animal lately fallen.

Fangs and hoarfrost: equally skilled and eager

killers of trillers.