The Sentient Creature Feature
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}

Antonia Clark

works for a medical software company in Burlington, Vermont.

A former creative writing instructor, she’s currently co-administrator of an online poetry forum, The Waters.

She has published poetry and short fiction in The Chimaera, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Missouri Review, MiPOesias, Rattle, and elsewhere.

She loves French travel, food, and wine, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

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The mole’s a canny animal.
He’s shrewder than you’d guess,
and cuter, too, but moles can be
a problem, nonetheless.

Their eyes no longer function well.
They’re nearly blind, you see,
their tiny visual organs only

Their fancy noses are bizarre.
Around each little snout
a starlike fringe of tentacles
to sniff their dinners out.

And they’re efficient hunters.
Faster mammals we’ve not found.
They eat earthworms and other tiny
creatures underground.

They’re known as champion tunnelers
Their burrows sometimes kill
your grass. But let’s not make a mountain
out of a mere molehill.

They damage lots of plant roots,
and though they seldom eat ‘em,
you wouldn’t want one running wild
in your arboretum.

But still, they have their good points
and environmental role:
a tasty lunch for hawks and owls.
Long live the lowly mole!