White Rabbit, or Goods and Services
Not a live one. Not a thing that sniffs or hops.
Not a critter to skin and stew. Kiss, kiss its lucky foot.
We’re talking cheap chocolate. Easter Bunny. One blue
Icing eye and dressed in cellophane.
Who doesn’t love a bargain? Who wouldn’t buy in bulk?
Worn thin by empty egg hunts, penitence and Lenten fasting,
Of course the bargain bunny became a boon. Just ask Uncle Ambrose
With his cases of Mr. Crispies stacked high as Calvary.
There was a trade-off: to receive, one had to give up the goods.
To earn an Ambrose Bunny, white with bloom, we visited his basement
Where his happy hands warmed our tails. And with happier hands,
He’d pull the liners from his pant pockets: Kiss the rabbit between the ears.
One by one, we’d burrow up from the cellar, squinting into the sun,
Springing and hopping over the green, chocolate
Returning to its intended colour as it softened in our paws.
Misfiring, or Homesickness
An act of aberrance–take the bird who
feeds the fish. Who, after a spell, waits
at the surface with puckered lips.
Fortunate fish, up for a gulp of air,
shares a smooch with wren. Fledglings
flown, she cannot deny her strong longing
to stuff food into an open mouth.
Right behaviour. Wrong object.
The empty nest, homesickness.
And then there’s us two-legged creeps:
rulers of havoc, ruin. Can’t help it, we say.
So what if we wreck everything we think we own?
Here, cow, have some cow.
Here, cat, have some corn.
There’ll be no looking back when the fish is pissing
in the alley, when the wren’s gone to dust,
when the cow’s a beast without a mouth,
when the cat’s putting on its best bulletproof vest.
We’ll be busy, buzzing about, packing for planet Mars,
or some other shithole. Until, jig’s up.
Just like it began: Bang, bang, you’re dead.
From CNQ 91: The Nostalgia Issue (Fall/Winter 2014)