Linda Coker


Mrs. Talley's Rats - Poem by Linda Coker

The rats were thick
Back in the alley,
Behind the home
Of Mrs. Talley.

They ate her food,
They crawled through walls,
They chewed holes in
Her crocheted shawls.

She called the landlord,
She called the city,
She found no one
Who showed her pity.

She didn’t know
What else to do,
She tried to kill them
With her shoe.

One day she called
The local Pound
They said ‘Come see us,
Come on down.’

And so she went
To search and see
What beast could help
With her alley.

She thought about
That vicious dog
Who growled and
Chewed upon a log.

But Mrs. Talley
Soon was smitten
By the tender mewing
Of a starving kitten.

She brought him home
She fed him well,
And in a few months,
His belly swelled.

As soon as he
Was looking good,
Mrs. Talley
Stopped his food.

She put him out
One night so black,
And told him he
Could not come back.

Until he learned
To feed himself,
She bought no cat food
For her shelf.

He stayed away
For fifteen days,
Then home he came
With eyes ablaze.

He was quite plump,
And round and fat,
He’d developed quite
A taste for rat.

She named him Poison,
That smart Mrs. Talley,
Who found a way
To clean up her alley.

(2005)


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, January 21, 2011


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