by Daniela Lorenzi
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
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
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
—ears and tongue flapping—
or chasing the green tennis
ball you remembered to bring
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
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.
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