The Mother Rabbit

the mother

will build her burrow

where all the others do, in

the thicket of lavender phlox tinged

by death. five

summers ago, my

dog sniffed out the nest and pinched

a baby rabbit between his sharp,

puppy teeth

and dropped it at my

mother’s feet. it died from shock,

which saved it from the feral cat that

crept into

the burrow that night

for a midnight snack, leaving

cotton tails and toothpick bones behind.

my mother

throws dirt and stones in

empty nests hidden beneath

the soft hills of phlox to warn away

the other

mothers, too young and

naïve to see through the false

sanctuary promised by tangles

of leaves, fresh

chips of mulch, dirt washed

clean of blood by the pitter-

patter of summer rainshowers. yet,

the mothers

return, year by year,

to try and find safety in

a world that’s so often cruel to those

who are not.

and maybe they’ll fail,

but maybe not. the world might

be safe after all. kind. gentle. soft.

Annabelle Smith attends Barbara Ingram School For the Arts where she studies creative writing. Her work can be read in Every Day Fiction and more of her poetry can be read in TRNSFR and Agape Review.