'To a Mouse' by Kenneth Calman

'To a Mouse' by Kenneth Calman

Jan 2014

On seeing a mouse between the rails at Euston Underground station


Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie

There’s nae panic in thy breastie

Thou didna start awa sae hasty

In Euston Underground Station

I certainly couldna chase thee

Across the rails.


I watched thee, and saw the train arrive

Nibblin’ awa just tae survive

As the Carriages came in

Ye mesmerised my brain

But I could do nothing to help

With you beneath the train


I’m truly sorry man’s changing science

Has disrupted your alliance

With nature

And changed the union here

‘Tween man and mouse

Deep underground


Your house I glimpsed it in the wall

A tiny hole, but then you’re small

And can escape

Your bairnies there, cosy and good

Waiting for you to scrounge for food

From daily commuters


Above the rails and platform, what a story

You see humanity above in all its glory

And what a sicht

Squeezed thegether in an awfu crowd

Reading, eating, talking so loud

Unconcerned wi’ you


Am I blest compared wi you

As I board the tube to waterloo?

On the Northern line

You’re warm and fed, and have no computers

And have come to terms with London commuters

I still have some way to go


I have more travels and decisions to take

While you are safe at home, eating discarded cake

And with the family

I have creeping old age, and joints which creak

Hingin’ thegether from week to week

And look forward to an uncertain future.