Posts Tagged ‘gentleness’

Down the Rabbit Hole

It’s the Year of the Rabbit,
and I can’t help but think
of the photo of my son
the week before he died
holding a white rabbit in Ecuador—
a rabbit he bought and loved for an hour.
“Mom,” he said through the phone,
“can I bring home a rabbit? Please?”
I told him it wouldn’t make it through customs,
but he could buy one here at home.   
It’s the Year of the Rabbit,
and it feels right the crawl spaces
beneath our porches now shelter
the sweetest brown bunnies.
Where did they come from?
Every day now, my husband feeds them
pellets and lettuce. Every day
I watch for their tracks in the snow,
thrill when I see the sweet lumps
of their bodies as they venture into the day.
It’s the year of the Rabbit,
a time, they say, for calm
and patient energy.
I don’t know if I believe in the zodiac,
but I believe in gentleness.
I believe in thinking things through.
I believe in peace.
It’s the Year of the Rabbit,
and I am in love with rabbits—
with their large ears and feet
and their quivering noses
and the way they have hopped their way
into my life bringing softness
where there has been pain,
bringing calm where there has been trauma.
I will go down that rabbit hole.
I will make in that burrow a home.  

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Offering Gentleness

Gentle is time to be gentle.
            —Ole Dalby, private correspondence

Gentle is time to be gentle,
   he writes, and I let myself
     fall into the cadence of his words

the way as a girl I once dreamt
   I could fall into a cloud—
     something soft beyond soft,

something infinitely calm.
   Gentle is time to be gentle,
     he writes, and though

my mind struggles to decipher it,
   my body instantly nestles
     into the tenderness of it,

as if he has wrapped each word
   in cumulonimbus, as if gentleness
     is the only obvious path, as if I, too,

might offer such gentleness
   to someone else with words
     spun of nimbostratus, with syllables

of cirrus, with thoughts as cushiony
   as the clouds we once drew as kids,
     those clouds we once lived in

before we were told we could not.

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Baring my claws for the pleasure of retracting them, choosing again to be gentle.



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