365 Poems/88 Rabbit (Rough First Draft)
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
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.