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The Mouse in Chapter Two

This selection is paired with Chapter 2 of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Get NonBinary Review #18 from Zoetic Press. 


Mouse was his name. The boy who would commit
Suicide by laying his head upon
A rail track. He didn’t even get his
Own grave in the end. His father shares it
And the world comes to see where Kenneth Graham
Is buried. On top of his dead son. It’s

Horrible, really. Broken carts and Mole
Standing in for not wanting to see all
The horrors that real grown up life contains,
(but it’s always there anyway), while droll
Gypsy caravans and river banks call
Attention to idyllic quests. The train

Reminds us of Mouse, of course, and the fact
That these stories were for him. But we don’t
Care to dwell on that for long, there is Rat
And Toad and motor cars set to distract
Us from the melancholy so we won’t
Think of Mouse, no, we won’t think of Mouse, that

Would be all wrong. He’s not in the book, he’s
Just who the book was for, his father wrote
It for him, to him, about him, on him
Really in the end. Quite literally. These
Things never sit well with fate. Gods take note.
They rewrote the book when they made the film.


Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s poetry has appeared in Able Muse, The Lyric, Star*Line, Fairy Magazine, Polu Texni,The Alabama Literary Review, Caduceus, Weaving The Terrain (Dos Gatos), Poem Revised (Marion Street), The Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch), “The Literary Whip” (Zoetic Press podcast) and many other venues. She has been nominated for “The Best of the Net” and The Pushcart Prize (twice), and is currently nominated for a Rhysling Award. She has always been fascinated by the horrible story behind this particularly beloved book.