Last night, I dreamt of rats, rats white and grey:
some tiny, some as large as domestic cats.
Locked in my home, frozen in candlelight,
no sooner had one pair scurried off
than another entered – dropped down
with its pregnant mate –
from gnawed-through ceiling plaster,
narrowly missing my petrified head.
Incisors flashed: sharp and ivory-white.
Intelligent ‘we know you’ eyes
stared me out, pierced
I woke up sweat-soaked, heart pumping –
flung open my bedroom casement,
and bathed in ice-cold air.
Relieved, and strangely aroused, my hand soothed my body –
until I heard
rodent feet scratching
behind the skirting board,
skirmishing in my attic.
Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon, [MA Creative Writing, Newcastle 2017] lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She is a Pushcart (2019 & 2020) and Forward Prize (2019) nominee. She believes everyone’s voice counts.