I read that some scientists, somewhere,
(it is always that way, isn’t it?
Anonymous proletarians of the laboratory
Without so much as names
Stitched on their lab coat pockets,
All living south of Somewhere, Nebraska,
Driving to work back and forth, back and forth
Like lab mice running in a maze?)
Anyway, these unsung scrabblers of science
Installed hamster treadmills in sheltered places
In city parks, suburban woods,
And far out in the country.
Creaky little wheels of anodized aluminum
The kind kids have for gerbils and mice
When they aren’t allowed a dog.
I wonder did they predict in advance,
That all night long legions of
Chipmunks, voles, rats, squirrels and ilk
Would come in from their trees and burrows
And run and run on the wheels?
All night, for hours on end.
They would even fight over whose turn it was
Like squabbling children.
Apparently they thought it was a lot of fun.
I can’t say how a Country Mouse
Knows to become a City Mouse,
That moment we decide it is obvious
To jump aboard a unknown contraption
And take it for a spin.
(Do I understand better when I see
A fireapple-red Maserati stuck in traffic?)
Is there any hope for us
If we must love our treadmills
So much, just love them so much?