Poetry Month 2023 Post #9: “Seeing Home”
April is #NationalHistoryMonth and I am posting a Poem-A-Day. I wrote this one recently. And in honor of Easter I am making room for the new ways love is showing up. And the way a rabbit taught me how to see home.
Years ago, another family ago,
another container of home
this land included pet rabbits,
living with chickens, near the horses
down the slope of yesterdays.
They built coops and hutches
with wooden doorways and
horseshoe latches. I walk by
each morning and briefly imagine
what was and what could be.
This habitat artifact a daily
practice of marking missed opportunities.
Six years into making a home
here, there is still an otherness,
still the remnants of ill-fitting pieces.
The part of me that sees what’s
missing uses it as daily confirmation.
Then in a grief walk searching for the
place my old cat companion went to die,
a different part of me saw the
hutch for the very first time.
Maybe Cricket knew its interior shelter,
maybe he made his somber, sacred
walk to ever-after here. Maybe
his familiar was something
I had overlooked everyday.
I approached the door and moved
the metal latch to the right.
The unmistakable sound of a
startled animal looking for an exit
opened an anteroom, a portal of home.
I see a brown cotton-tailed rabbit
All the ways I had seen
it empty, abandoned, a reminder
of what I am not,
dissolved into sweet discovery.
This was wildness finding space
to be at home with me, with
my meandering life. This
was a rabbit hutch afterall.
Scents of the past gave this feral one
a sense of safety, primal willingness
to nest and rest in the shelter of
what humans said goodbye to.
Now I walk by with new eyes, a heart
opening to today’s mercies of a family now here.