by Daniela Lorenzi

Going Home

Mother leads me to the rabbit hutch
empty now         wood splintered and smoothed
by time        wind       the relentless August sun
rusted chicken wire drooping at the top right-hand corner
framed door swinging      from one black-rusted hinge

She leads me to the rabbit hutch
leaning, now, into the gnarled olive tree
and marvels:

      I used to climb up to that branch
 – look! – who could get up there now?

stares at the hutch        at more than sixty years ago
wistful smile       head tilted     just slightly
towards the knotted tree

I hid in there once     with the rabbits   I was three
          your zia Maria crazy with looking
dragged me out      my forehead caught
             – you see that nail? –
           cut me here       this scar.


Had I only reached up      touched that weathered dent
brushed the hurt away
still fresh
after so many seasons.



Recipe for Dog Days

To witness pure happiness
give a dog a beach.

Make it sandy and flat
for running wide
dizzy-making circles
—ears and tongue flapping—
or chasing the green tennis
ball you remembered to bring
this time.

Be sure there are good-sized
whitecaps to spring over
the kind that chase him
without mercy back to shore
ignoring his gruff barks, hardly
heard, now, above the thunder.
The kind he loves.

A child, of course—
there must be a child
to run with him, hair
wind-whipped, piercing
the roar with her shrieks.

And treats in your pocket.
Watch him sit before you
panting hard, buzzing
with anticipation (one ear
sprite and pointy, the other,
as always, hanging limp)
until you say jump!
and he grabs his reward.
Good dog.



Last Days

                 for Sam

sniff at daisies and dandelions
as the raven chortles high on a branch

and as spring sun warms that matted fur
there’s no longer point in brushing

a butterfly flicks by       you look up startled—
even gossamer disquiets you these days

crows can caw and swoop
you don’t give chase

your blood so paled it clogs
both mind and heart

even my hand’s gentle reach
causes an involuntary dip

then back to the task at hand


Image by chezbeate from Pixabay