365 Poems/88 Rabbit (Rough First Draft)

Rabbit

You speak a few words of thanks,

before you break its neck.

 

You hold it with its head between

your knees,  it’s white stomach

facing outwards. It’s like the moon

has turned fluid.

 

You take out the blade your grandfather

gave to you, your name carved

into its wooden handle.

 

You still have the scar on your arm

from when you were whittling wood

and slipped.

 

You sharpen it on a whetstone

hung around your neck, then make

a small cut in the perfect white pelt.

 

You pull the skin until the guts are visible,

then cut off the paws with your knife

and put them to one side.

 

Carefully, you push your hands

between the skin, until your fingers

meet at the back. Then you ease

out the hind legs.

 

Eventually, the skin comes off

over the head, and you carefully

pull out the heart and lungs.

 

You smell of deep countryside,

and I am gently drunk on sloe gin.

 

I feel my legs tremble, as you ask me

to light one of your dip dyed candles,

while you wipe the rabbit clean

with a warm, damp cloth.

 

You roughly slice cabbage leaves

and carrots as an offering,

and we scatter them in the dark fields

under the cold, clear sky where

the rabbits assemble and dance.

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