Nightly they invade,

waiting for the lights to dim,

and for airborne snores. 



they breach the boarders of the kitchen

to escape their frozen homes.


They migrate like Visigoths,

cleverly concealed in a forest

of cupboards and drawers.


Those camouflaged waylayers

spy on a table spread with dinner

through sharp little lenses.


When sure of safety they scurry

in hoards from crack and crevice,

and skillfully navigate air.


Surveying their surroundings,

they form legions while spilling out

onto white linoleum.


They speckle the floor brown

like dropped raisins as their leader

addresses them from granite counter-top.


The ranks hail him below like Nazis

until the overhead light clicks on,

and a brutal battle begins.


Weeks later their great grandchildren

will gaze at upside down cups in the cabinet

while their parents tell of their losses.


© Shawn Nacona Stroud

*This poem was previously published in the Mississippi Crow Magazine.