Mouse Bones
Dedicated to the desert.
By Janet Ruhe-Schoen
•   •   •
my dog crunches up a mouse
fur ears nose tongue tail sinews
guts brains blood bones
swallows it down and licks up
ants from the desert floor for dessert
leaving no trace of mouse
anywhere not even on her whiskers
but one day my dog leaves the skeleton
it makes a good marionette
bones separated and dangling
from strings, dangling through dreams
as a miniature monster 
or aggrandized into a giant monster
but maybe mouse bones inside a gourd
rattle together – a maraca –
or a mobile of mouse bones
is a wind chime, mouse spirit
reawakened by desert wind
singing mouse songs to my dog
who runs beneath them
barking purposively "what's this 
what's this what's this?" 
but balked forever of her prey
yes the mouse
safe at last 
sings mouse-gray songs
to dogs and djinns of the desert
•   •   •
As an environmental reporter and feature writer, Janet Ruhe-Schoen worked for magazines and newspapers in Chile and the U.S. Her books of biography include "Rejoice in My Gladness: The Life of Táhirih" (19th Century Iranian poetess and human rights martyr). Her poetry has appeared in Tishman Review, Calyx, Abyss & Apex, and other magazines. She's from Pennsylvania, and has lived in Pennsylvania and the southwestern U.S. Her book "A Love Which Does Not Wait" is translated into Spanish, Portuguese and German. She posts other biographical material on

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