It was the poker that did it.

Three times smashed on the head,

three perfect mouse outlines

bent into the handle

before he could escape into

the sanctuary of the skirting board.


Jerry holes up behind his wall,

recovering his breath,

thinks about simpler times

when he was a pup,

didn’t have to forage for scraps,

pursued by a psychopathic cat.


Meanwhile, in Burlington, Vermont,

Jerry Greenfield sighs,

adds a flick to the Newton’s cradle

clicking on his desk.

Click, click, tick, tick,

click, click, tick, tick.


He thinks about the seventies,

when he and Ben were fuelled by youth,

when ice cream was exciting,

before he grew weary

of brokers and boardrooms,

jaded by the corporate world.


The mouse turns to Twitter, types,

I’m tired of this crap,

then scrolls down the feed,

where someone has retweeted

a post from Greenfield

saying the exact same thing.


He replies: Ha, just said the same

and puts down his phone.

Eight minutes later

a notification bleeps.

Greenfield has replied.

Maybe we should swap?


Haha, types the mouse, but

Greenfield writes, I’m serious,

you come here to Burlington,

be the new Jerry,

and I’ll take your place.

Both of us can make a new start.


Two days later, Greenfield

takes a plane down south,

meets the mouse at the airport.

They exchange instructions,

documents, keys,

wish each other well.


The mouse strides proudly,

possessions tied in a napkin

dangled on the end of a chopstick.

He stows himself away in

some unsuspecting luggage,

is soon on his way to Vermont.


Greenfield takes a taxi

to the address he’s been given,

a quaint little place

in smalltown suburbia,

trimmed lawn and portico,

his new dream home.


In Burlington, the mouse

heads straight to the office,

scrambles up the executive chair,

lies back on luxurious leather.

The desk is much too high.

He’ll need to get it lowered.


Within days, he’s settled in,

signing off purchase orders,

attending board meetings,

carrying the mouse-sized briefcase

he’s had specially made.

His PA has sorted the desk.


Greenfield isn’t slipping into

his new life so easily.

He hadn’t fully thought about

the life of a mouse,

about the practical problems

of living in a wall cavity.


The cat doesn’t help,

eyeing him suspiciously,

brandishing a shovel,

just in case he comes near

the steaming roast chicken

perched on the kitchen counter.


It does look delicious.

In Vermont he could have chicken

any time he wanted,

or whatever else he chose.

He craves a turkey sandwich.

It’s funny what you miss.


When the mouse gets the text,

he’s in the back of a limo

on the way to his mansion.

He laughs as he reads it:

This isn’t working out.

I think we should go back.


The mouse disagrees.

He’s embracing the change.

It’s not just the money,

the house, the champagne,

it’s the power – a taste that

he’s never known before.


He doesn’t reply,

loads the Forbes website,

checks the latest market news.

Maybe he needs to make some cuts.

The VP of Sales doesn’t

seem to share his vision.


He ponders the viability

of a cheese-flavoured ice cream,

while miles away, the mouseman

who used to be Jerry Greenfield

nibbles on a discarded crust,

staring at his silent phone.


What are you looking for?