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391st Weekly Poetry Contest winner: The Rooms of Bernadette

by Miles T. Ranter

With scratching sounds and gnawing sounds
and periodically a squeak,
commensal mammals make their rounds
to search for edibles and seek
a place to nest before the bleak
raw blizzards bluster in. They’ll get
a taste of warmth within a week
inside the rooms of Bernadette.

Wise to the perils on these grounds
(traps, poison, predators), they speak
not just with voices but the nouns
and adjectives of smell. They reek
of things they’ve eaten, each unique,
life-or-death. A breach will let
them scurry, scamper, spring, and streak
across the bed of Bernadette.

She sleeps, as one now swiftly downs
a bit of cracker near her sleek
and lanky form. Another bounds
across a table, takes a peek
at the granola. Nervous, meek,
worldly-wise, and no one’s pet,
these stealthy creatures never creak
the boards that sag like Bernadette.

A bold one scuttles past her cheek
as others in stark silhouette
come in the night to prowl and sneak
inside the dreams of Bernadette.

See all the entrants to 391st Weekly Poetry Contest