Abandoned (Recorded Audio) Poets & Artists

Here’s to the tiny jackrabbit
you brought home to me
in your pocket, the one you found
on a day of hunting, the one

you kept warm as it slept inside
your coat pocket on the long drive
back while you listened to the radio
in the old Ford Woodie and smoked

your Chesterfields as you contemplated
life and its complexities between
your rounds of electroshock therapy
and visits to your psychiatrist.

Here’s to the love you had for wild
things, the ones you brought home
dead and alive, and that tiny jackrabbit
you cradled in the palm of your hand

as you kneeled beside my childhood
bed, waking me up from a midnight sleep,
two furred ears poking over the corduroy
pouch of your hunting jacket.

Here’s to your old Winchester rifle
after a day of hunting, the way you slung
it over your right shoulder like a soldier
searching for battle and the contentment

it gave you to be alone in the wilderness
with your decoys, bullets, bait-box
and worms, the ones you took with you
on your mornings of wandering

when you roamed the Wetlands in search
of fowl, the dead ducks you brought
home and gave my mother to de-feather
and cook for weekend dinners.

Here’s to your laughing and crying
while you sipped a highball sharing
stories of Korea when you were
a warrior and the conflicted feelings

you had about living and life long
after the war. Here’s to that jackrabbit
and to all the creatures that survive
and to all that don’t while struggling
to endure unknown obstacles,
to those who are rescued and those
those who die trying, even
if by their own hand.

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