that gets in and kills every last one, that fastens

on what it finds there and leaves a gory mess, yes

a nightmare is being trapped with its slippery

muscular intention and the means to do it

to smell the rancid Mustelid before it

weasels triumphant through a small wire hole

or finds a way to burrow under the coop, how the

bright face appears first, snarling and alert with malevolent

determination, then the body and then the soundtrack: bite, crunch, suck

attached like a leech, to know it’s your turn next, to back up against

what gives just a little, not enough, trapped with a squirming

leaping weasel who finishes off every last one, even she can’t

escape, is eighty-nine years old when the weasel

arrives when it gets in, yes, and quickly ends it all

did any of them recognize the fierce and cunning devil

in its stench before it got in? did any of them feel the clamour

of fear? some must have when it wiggled malodorous

with ecstatic intention at the enclosure before it found a

way in and began on first one, then the next, then the next

all gone, all gone, her daughter phones her

late that night and says, a weasel got in the coop because

we weren’t there, were visiting you on your birthday

the intimacy of the connection troubles the old woman

the birthday girl, how that day they’d even had fun, had feasted

at the Keg (she’d paid of course) because her daughter

lives in a cabin in a dark forest, cuts wood for a living

bags it and sells it, sometimes she even brings

her mother delicious eggs, so fresh

you could have been delivering wood

the old woman begs for a different version, but

her daughter can’t hear because she’s still screaming

about how the weasel got into the chicken coop, it got in

while they were gone and killed them all, left a scene

of carnage, how awful that her eighty-ninth will be marked

by a weasel on a murder spree, by that sense

of no escape, all gone so fast, if it was a dream

she could just wake up but she’s eighty-nine

years old and when did that happen

and how will it end?


Rose Cullis (she/they) is a queer writer/playwright/educator. They’ve had short stories, plays and monologues published in several theme-based anthologies and essays in Event and This Magazine. Cullis completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Guelph University in 2017 and attended Banff’s Performing Arts Creative Lab (March 2022) to develop After/BAAL, a new play with music. Most recently, they have work in Brick 110 (Winter 2023).