Literary Yard

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‘Mr. Mouse and Mr. Clarkes’ and other poems

By: Leigh-Anne Burley

Mr. Mouse and Mr. Clarkes

A chunk of cheese flies
out of the mouth
of a mouse
when his corner
of the universe tilts.

In the opposite corner
of the universe
Mr. Clarkes, while eating cheese
is knocked off his stool
sending the cheese
across the slanted floor.

Mr. Mouse sees his cheese
on a different floor.
In his loudest squeak, he says,
“If only I could get from here to there.”

Mr. Clarkes, while putting the cheese
on the window, ledge
hears a squeak,
and he leaves for work.

Mr. Mouse scurrying
around the room
squeaks his refrain.
Mr. Clarkes continues
to hear Mr. Mouse.

Mr. Mouse leans over
the slim edge of the universe repeating
“If only right could be put to rights.”

After work, Mr. Clarkes
sees the cheese is gone
off the window ledge.

Mr. Mouse sees his cheese
on a ledge in his room and eats it.

Mr. Clarkes thinks he has
a mouse in his house and
buys a cat.

Mr. Mouse hears a meow and
fears there is a cat
in the house.


Our Old Schoolhouse

Tucked in a crook
on a Virginia road
our old schoolhouse
leans back on its haunches
in the shade of
eastern redwood,
flowering dogwood, and
American hornbeam.

Faded black shutters
chipped red brick
womb to tomb
white doors
creak open
onto scuffed
wood floors
as years of wisdom
pass by in hearty

Dogeared books with
crooked spines
beckon friends
old and new
to recline.



Gently divide the day
from the night
split the skies open
revealing the light
come up the back way
darling of mine
there you will find me
shining so bright
take off your coat dear
stay a little while
sup in my presence
dine in my room
gently divide the day
from the night
shadows hide
revealing the light.

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