Verminous Calculus

We had to use our hands and boots
or hammers and hoes, a wood-axe once,
the over/under shotgun, sometimes the
antique Swedish rifle with
bullets thick as index-fingers,
not to mention the carnage
a plow brings to the voles.
She told me that’s something sociopaths do.

It’s not like we enjoyed it,
(although I don’t know if sociopaths enjoy it)
and sure, they’ve as much a right to
life as any vermin on two legs, but
a raccoon family can gnaw through
half an acre of corn per night;
deer will pull down a dozen apples
before they find one they like;
groundhogs ruin every root for miles;
and last year the squirrels started nibbling the pumpkins…
That works out to a couple hundred dollars every week,
and I guess life is valued
a little less than that.

I suppose if that makes you a sociopath,
everyone who ever lived before the 1900’s
was either a sociopath or starving.
She didn’t appreciate that sentiment.

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