Poached Rabbit Elegy
by Jackleen Holton

The three of us sat in Grandad's truck
in the pitch dark, quietly waiting.

He was poised with his rifle resting
on a rolled-down window when, like magic,
the small light body flashed against
the black screen of night.

I choked back the cry in my throat;
I knew I couldn't save this bunny.

Grandma's slap still rang red and mean
across my cheek, punishment for scaring
away the last one he'd had in his sights.

Although that was many years ago,
I still remember the way she dangled
the long, limp thing, bloody and skinned,
by its hind legs over the boiling pot.

Grandma left us last year. The news came over
the answering machine. I stood in the dark kitchen,
hunting for a good memory to hold in the silence.
But all I could see was that rabbit.

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