As with the commander of an army so is it with the mistress of a house

Alice Goodman

Now the maid, having set the plates
for breakfast, puts out the light
and climbs down to her cot. Now the mouse
drops to the pantry floor and begins to chew.
Now the beetle with his camphor wings
snaps his elytra at the bottom of the woodpile.
Ice covers the house like ribs of candle-wax.
Now the cattle begin to lie down in
the street, and rest their heads upon
each other’s backs. Now there is an army
camped before the walls. Late as it is
their fires are lit. Hold this city all night.