Charred Bunny

By Julia Kennedy

I wanted so badly to take off my leather glove
and feel its fur, soft as a dyed rabbit’s foot,
belonging to this, an actual rabbit,
his flesh still pliant, fur intact,
his body squeezed gently between
my fingers.

Poor creature, he died
not by fire, but smoke inhalation,
his legs stiffened out
behind him in a great leap,
a perfect bound, claws
chipping the hot air.

Sad to think on it now,
how I bobbed him like a toy boat,
not honoring his dignity,
using him to tease a buddy
next to me, one nameless day
in our harsh, ash-strewn profession,
mopping up scorched oilfields
with axes and shovels,
savaging the earth,
leaving nothing the same.

But I remember his tiny yellow teeth,
clamped in permanent overbite,
his eyes clenched shut,
his bunny lips pulled back
in a grimace.
Endure, his face said,
Endure. I will get through this.
Died trying.


Julia Kennedy is a freelance writer and teacher in the Boston area. She has a Master’s Degree in English from University of Massachusetts Boston. Her work has appeared in Red Fez. To read more from Julia, follow her blog, Hidden Stories.