Recently my cooker had to be reconditioned.
As the workman took off the different casings,
he removed the cover from the transformer,
and found a nest of semi-fossilized mice.
With the cooker on and transformer warm
they had made their winter home there,
using insulation as bedding. They died there,
together rather than starved and frozen. Outside.
I took the casing and cleaned it out for the workman
and put the mice in the hearth-ready for burning
when I next lit a fire, whilst he spoke of the alertness
of the cats for vermin around his family's farmhouse.
With every news bulletin the media whispers
'Only in the First World are you free from harm'
as if the media are our insurance
against the idea of nature overwhelming us.
I don't believe them, the mice confirmed
what I know in my bones, that poorer
and ruder conditions continue to hide
behind the present facade of prosperity.