Rain Barrel

by Bruce Holsapple

Four wood rats drowned
in a rain barrel, after recent storms
not all at once one after another
repeated the same mistake
jumped in & couldn’t swim out
crawling thru their soggy pals
Why they persisted
curiosity, maybe, I don’t know
it wasn’t thirst, but a blind compulsion
that’s what wood rats do
& you’d say their stupidity
entirely their own,
but that’s not likely
what haunts you