Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Bat

- Ellen Bryant Voigt

Reading in bed, full of sentiment
for the mild evening and the children   
asleep in adjacent rooms, hearing them   
cry out now and then the brief reports   
of sufficient imagination, and listening   
at the same time compassionately   
to the scrabble of claws, the fast treble   
in the chimney—
                      then it was out,
not a trapped bird
beating at the seams of the ceiling,
but a bat lifting toward us, falling away.

Dominion over every living thing,

large brain, a choice of weapons—

Shuddering, in the lit hall
we swung repeatedly against
its rising secular face
until it fell; then
shoveled it into the yard for the cat   
who shuttles easily between two worlds.

from: The Forces of Plenty, Copyright 1983

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