Once upon a midday gleaming, as the sun perched, eager-seeming,
Above my homestead’s weedy patches of forgotten sod,
Whilst I sighed, wondrous with gloom—oh, how that sky did fiercely loom!—
Upon my yard’s bedraggled flora a brown-grayish rabbit gnawed—
With a certain pluck & gusto, chose its clumps, & briskly gnawed,
Ever mindful as it trod.
I presumed it was a visitor from lettuce fields abroad,
For it was fuzzy, quick & small, cute as a little cotton ball,
But unlike any other rabbit that I’d ever seen before…
I distinctly don’t recall if it was springtime, or late fall—
Where I live, these stark environs kind of always look like fall—
Lacking features to enthrall.
Soon, my feelings started seeping—the way shadows take to creeping—
From their places of safekeeping, ‘til they lumbered into view
(As for that moment’s peace I’d sought, when with my sanctuary wrought,
I’d crawled inside to stay—& stayed much longer than I knew,
It could’ve dried & blown away, for all I really knew…)—
& there was nothing I could do…
Now, the rabbit, on grasses chewing—my soul eschewing—is my undoing:
My vain attempts to woo it hither churn up far too much ado,
So, I’m here, just sitting, stewing, my years accruing (they keep accruing)
Of the untold days’ ensuing—garish sunlight streaming through
(When all is said & done, I’ll bet that sun just seeps right through!);
I’d also swear that fur-ball grew!
With this craving so unnerving, I will wither undeserving
Of even one, small, savory serving of Hasenpfeffer stew…
My wee compadre, to be sure, won’t soon be rapping at my door:
I could with doleful tears implore, writhing prostrate on the floor
(It wouldn’t give two shits if I dried up right on this floor…),
Yet to hunger, evermore!
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
Here’s to art imitating poetry imitating poets imitating life—or something like that…