I walk quickly too dark to stroll
or notice the Statehouse golden dome.

No rallies now just a black plastic bag
caught in November’s chill wind
howling from harbor and river

“No,” it’s something live on the ground.
A cat, a dog? “No, maybe, a
squirrel shaking, sick,” I think.

I come close, sight obscured
by night vision and asphalt black,
blink, recoil at the sight of the tail
and quivering body of a large rat

Watching the rise and fall
of its corpus in death throes
I realize sadly it faces its end alone.

Life and death we have in common.


Beatrice Greene is an African American parents poet, composer, pianist, trumpeter, and dramatist. She enjoys convening community open mics with themes such as “Images Outside the Box: Defining Beauty for Ourselves” and “Place.” Her poetry themes include social justice, theology, science and nature.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine. He takes a lot of pictures around Boston.