The Rabbit

Episodes
foist themselves
upon the memory
and like vignettes
lie in blank time
an album
of experience.
A moment
may not be important
but lies there
touching your being.
The pages turn,
and I never did learn
to dislocate
the rabbit’s neck.
The trees
behind the hutches
do not exist
in this vignette,
but standing
behind the hutches
I am
killing a rabbit.
The dull knives
that I used
taught me
in my ignorance
to cut behind the ears
rather than saw
the loose flesh
of the neck.
I clubbed the rabbit
on the head
and strung him up
and sawed at his neck;
and slowed at the bone,
the rabbit came to
and squealed
a shrill eeeeeeeeeeee . . . .
And the butcher that I was
I beat his head
with the blade
of the bone handled
carving knife.
The blade broke
on his head.
He stopped squealing.
I cut the loose flesh;
his head off, he convulsed
blood.
Once when mom and I
killed rabbits,
we cut one’s heart out,
set it down,
and it still beat.
I show my foster mother
the broken knife.
The rabbit’s skull
broke her knife.
Strange, my mother and I
had one the same,
part of a set.
Mom in Tallahassee,
with electrodes
to her head,
not my EEG,
I in Pinellas Park.
I am all I know;
and the question asks
the problem,
and I can not answer.

Christopher Franke

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