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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Haibun: 153 words [R]
By Michael H. Lester

Trouble in the Attic


From the late-night scratching and pitter-pattering, we convince ourselves we have rats or mice in the attic. My wife asks me to peek and verify the species. You can tell by the size of the droppings, she declares. Rat droppings are larger and thicker than mouse droppings.

No, I am not sticking my face up there! I protest. I will call an exterminator.

she urges him to get
professional help

The exterminator comes to inspect and gives us the bad news. We have rats, and judging from the extensive urine stains and piles of droppings, they have been there for a long time. He recommends we remove all the insulation, clean and disinfect the entire attic, seal off all entry points, and reinstall insulation materials treated with a pest deterrent. All for the bargain price of $5,000.

competing bids
vermin come in all shapes
and sizes



—Previously published in Narrow Road (Volume 3, December 2017, page 65); appears here with the poet’s permission.

Michael H. Lester
Issue 11, January 2022

is a CPA, attorney, and poet who lives in Los Angeles, California. His writing has been widely published in prestigious poetry journals, has been translated into several languages, and has won numerous awards worldwide. Michael’s recent publications include two illustrated children’s books, Cassandra and the Strange Tale of the Blue-Footed Boobies and Johnny and Frankie’s Summer Sleepover, as well as a book of poetry, Notes from a Commode: Volume I. A fourth book, The Squeeping Catterwhip, is now available on Amazon.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

25 Death Poems: Edited and Introduced by Michael H. Lester, a Special Feature in Atlas Poetica

Birds Do It Better, haibun by Lester in Contemporary Haibun Online (January 2019, Volume 15, Number 2)

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