Patchwork Mouse

He/she is carefully splendidly & precisely
wired (in rectangles squares loops) for a series
of required tests
today tomorrow the next tomorrow,
& so on!

He/she stands humbly roundbacked
with legs bent toes splayed
& bulbous eye absently thoughtful
vaguely reproachful .

she/he squeaks     when the current strikes
squeak      squeak     squeak . . .
the tapering tail
swishes      swishes
the pointed nose wrinkles
drips *.*

She/he has no knowledge of the survival
of the fittest
has written no paper on the subject
merely    eats    drinks    lives


The tests, if successful, will be vital (they say) to somebody somewhere. One can  merely look at the questioning  eye of the mouse, at  his/her bent back, legs, tail & wiring system, & hopefully pray for the ultimate happiness of researcher, patients & mouse.

Experiments nowadays are more likely to be genetic. The description of one of them runs:  ‘... take a newborn germ-free mouse .. . infect it by dropping polyoma virus through the nose... ears & throat . . . the virus will replicate in the kidneys & other organs’. 

[playing God by June Goodfield (page 142) .]