Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Rabbit in the Porch Light




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

There in the newly mown grass
in the shadow cast by freshly lit porch light,
something, something simple has put itself there as
a reminder that we are not alone.
Big brown eyes.
It is cordial, perhaps,
beautiful and non-threatening,
chewing on clover and listening for whatever
it is the arriving night wants to say;
things that we cannot dare imagine because we have
forgotten the value of trying to hear and
be heard – though our survival used to depend
on it – well, actually, it still does –
and so here I am in awe of little things,
simple little things, that haven’t forgotten
themselves, nor given up hope for our souls.
What do I do when I realize the rabbit feasting
at dusk understands things that I fear
well enough to expose himself in spite of them?
Certainly, I could learn, couldn’t I?
And there he goes, hopping,
moving deeper into the darkness
where life or death awaits.
He’s listening for it,
I know,
but he doesn’t stop his vigil with himself.
So maybe I could soften,
maybe I could,
and move a little further away from the light.

Vulnerability:
flight, fight, or freeze.

Haven’t we been here long enough to find
a better way?

I could turn the porch light off,
and step into the warm summer air,
and undress,
and listen with the pricked hairs of my body
to whatever is out there,

whatever wants to come close.

The switch is greyed by finger prints.
The door knob is round and cold.
The hinges, creak.

Certainly,

I must
take the risk
to open.


© 2013-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Wild Life: New and Selected Poems" 
www.hiraethpress.com

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