Driving Down Sunset

It’s winter. Everything is cold—the weather,
the car, my bones. The days turn dark too early.
We’re in the car going down Sunset Drive,
and the street light turns red. Cars are backed up

and moving slow. The wipers plod across
the windshield. We’re stopped, waiting
for the light to change, when out pops
a deer mouse from under the hood.

She comes up near the wipers, so
I turn them off. She looks at me with her large
black eyes, nose wiggling, cute, before she jumps
quick into the warmth of the engine. The light

changes. I worry the she’ll die on the hot engine,
or in the fan, or on the windshield because
I might need to use the wipers soon. Or
maybe she’ll try the traffic. We drive off slow,

turn into the church parking lot on the corner.
I get out, look under the hood. No sign of a mouse.
I’m pretty sure she let herself out in the lot.
Maybe she’ll make a new home in the church.

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