On seeing a dead rat and remembering a BBC radio 4 documentary from which I learned that rats have no bladder control

The squashed dead body of a rat appeals,

stretched out beside the kerb. Poor arms embedded

suppliantly within its chest, poor paws –

tips touching, grasping, clasping in petition.

Poor tiny cut-throat teeth can still be seen

entrenched now in a mouth forever resting

in shapes of vowels from its final pleading

though breath has long been wrung from this Poor Rat

this mangled omnimingent creature. Pisspoor Rat,

passed over to the pisspot in the sky.


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