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Thousand-Legger at Midnight | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

I rise to pee at midnight
and it’s nice to see
no gunman in the bathroom
waiting to shoot me

but there’s a thousand-legger,
a centipede, if you will,
in the tub, disoriented
by the light

walking in circles
like an unhappy cat.
He’s obviously upset
he can’t escape the tub

because of the high walls.
A mystery how he got there.
The walls won’t let him go
where life might dictate.

Now that autumn’s here,
maybe he’s come to visit
or maybe spend the winter.
He doesn’t know it but

he won’t survive my wife
well known to other insects,
now deceased, as Big Foot.
Every once in awhile

he tries to crawl the wall
but falls to the floor again,
the longest centipede
I’ve ever seen, a caboose

suddenly left behind,
deserted on a railroad track,
going nowhere till my wife
applies her heel.

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