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Poem Number 012

This poem is about what the title says. It's about-a bat.

The Bat

Theodore Roethke

By day the bat is cousin to the mouse.
He likes the attic of an aging house.

His fingers make a hat about his head.
His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead.

He loops in crazy figures half the night
Among the trees that face the corner light.

But when he brushes up against a screen,
We are afraid of what our eyes have seen:

For something is amiss or out of place
When mice with wings can wear a human face.


from Collected poems of Theodore Roethke
My Doubleday, 1938

Copyright 1938 by Theodore Roethke.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).