In the kitchen, I walked a broad arc
around the wringer washer –
If it catches your hair,
we’ll have to cut it off.
The wood stove sputtered damp birch and sap.
My mother held a snared rabbit
by its back paws, over the yellow pail
while my father, on his knees, cut neat
(that coppery smell on the tongue)
cuffs around the hind limbs, tugging away
the fur like a wet sweater.
That night, undressing me for bed,
my mother pulled my sweater
over my head with that slight claustrophobic
pause when my face was covered by wool.
Skin the bunny, she said.