THE YEARS MY HEART WAS A TERRACOTTA RABBIT LAWN ORNAMENT
We abandoned the life-size, rust-colored
bunny, standing on her hind feet, ears back
beside the rhubarb for three winters.
The first summer, she was alert, nose
in the air, enjoying the full sun and
the rain, birds bathing nearby, splashing.
The winter was wet, left the yard spongy
and brown. The moss stayed green
in the corners, the sky a slate of gray.
The second summer, untended, brought
Creeping William and spreading irises
shading out the rhubarb and rabbit alike.
That winter was artic as if a glacier
had advanced and retreated while we
warmed ourselves under white comforters.
The third summer, the garden went wild.
The rabbit was buried under thistles and ivy
and we decided to call all the weeds perennials.
The last winter was cold and dry. Ice
formed from the fog that blew in off the rivers
and pushed at the sidewalks no one walked.
Now, I dig out the beds, reseed the lawn.
I find the rabbit, one ear missing, her back
scaly and flaking. I mend her, make promises.
Kristin LaTour's first full-length collection, What Will Keep Me Alive, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2015. Her most recent chapbook is Agoraphobia, from Dancing Girl Press (2013). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Fifth Wednesday, Cider Press Review, Escape into Life and Massachusetts Review and in the anthology Obsession: Sestinas in the 21st Century. She teaches at Joliet Jr. College and live in Aurora, IL with my writer husband, a lovebird, and two dogitos. Readers can find more information at www.kristinlatour.com.