Chaetodipus eremicus

Chihuahuan desert pocket mouse
Alice Wallace



I wonder if we have met or was it a dream

you scampering across my brow

as I slept beneath the stars on the desert

floor among the creosote and mesquite.


Would you tell me of your nocturnal foraging

how you brush away the dirt with your tiny front

paws leap and hop with kangarooish back feet

you are related to the kangaroo rat after all.


Would you tell me of being more closely related

to beavers and gophers than mice - who would believe

such a thing - you being so small and un-destructive

with tiny burrows and silent scavenging.


Would you tell me how you have no need of water

and would you be surprised with my need

do you even know of the magic inside of you

creating the sustenance all living creatures require.


Your name speaks of the pouches you have on either

side of your mouth with which you carry your cache

place to place and not of the image I have of you nestled

quietly in the corner of my shirt pocket.




A long time desert dweller, Alice Wallace is a collector of small rocks and metaphors, a traveler of mountain trails and liminal spaces, a grandmother, a poet, a warrior.