Tenth Day – Brown long-eared bat
Alias Oreillard roux, merci @chamsz www.antiopa.info/109-chauve-souris-mammifere-grotte-rouss…
Powder snout, fungus-muzzled,
your snuffled rasps mine the sediments,
wake you blink-eyed, gasping, early out
of your torpid seasonal penitence.
You wake alone. Outside winter holds
her grip, as one by one your smudge-nosed
colony stirs and chatters, the whole dank
chamber hacking like a typhus ship
until the hunger rush and you launch unison
on twigged wings out of your encampment’s
mouth to find a frozen, snow-blind land
where no insects fly and no birds sing.
And so return to your waiting roost
where you huddle and hang, fold
back into the nuzzled cloak of yourself,
slowly starve by increments.
Your dopplered heart stalls and stills. Your tiny
claws lose their grip as you slip light as a leaf
to the reliquary floor. As you, my Fledermaus,
will fall out of memory and fall out of myth;
Some old wives’ fairied tale of you catching
in a young girl’s hair or circling a bride
on her wedding eve, portensions of a doomed
romance or a violent end to a nuptial ring.
While a house frau’s batting broom
rests easy by an unlit hearth,
children sleep undisturbed by dreams
of your little teeth at their delicate throats.
* M. lucifugus (little brown bat) faces extinction across North America as a result of a condition named white nose syndrome — a
fungus inadvertently brought from Europe to North America