Marita Over

One Christmas morning before church,

we ran out to the yard through thick, fast snow

to feed our rats, and found the female

quivering by a silent pile of stillborns.

One or two had been chewed at,

but most of them were complete.

No hair: just blotches where the fur

would have grown black.

My brother frowned

and with his blunt, quick fingers

swivelled a wooden catch to let

the door swing open.

With one hand he …

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