Winter Evening

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.

 

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