What was hers, but is not hers just now,
Having suffered a rising tide of voles
And other rodents (she does not doubt), is
The potting shed/solarium, a domain in
Which she'd reigned, she thought, for decades.
All of it, she'd built herself. Gathering
Slats of rough hewn barn wood, windows,
Heaps of antique bricks, a long green bench,
Ever more pots and flats, bins and trowels,
Royally she'd treated herself to her heaven,
Seedlings doing as she'd have them do.
But then: disaster. Peas and beans tucked
Under skeins of soil vanished by ones and
Threes -- whole flats of corn plowed up.
Is there nothing to be done, she wonders,
Short of slaughter by nefarious means?
Not the first option. She casts about among
Old tosswares in corners and on shelves.
This rolled-up screening might do. Shears in
Hand, she measures as one measures cloth,
Ever minding the selvage, to create caps
Rodents might decline to chew.
Slipping these into place, adding to each
Just one stone per corner, using
Up the Buddha cairns she'd made
Stacked here and there round the room.
The precept honored, she waters all,
Not neglecting to sprinkle stones.
Outcomes must be as they must be.
We find well that find we do not reign.