Bruce Morton

Rabbit Hole

For Elsa

The lot is vacant and dry.
Her little legs fly ahead.
It is sudden. She stops.
Drops to a squat, stares down
At the hole there in the ground.
She is absolutely still. Weeds
Barely move in the breeze
So, too, her dark Medusa hair,
Frozen in the bright sunlight.

Her world is small, but she is
Worldly. She knows Easter Bunny,
And Peter and Flopsy and Mopsy—
And Bugs, perhaps—but nothing of púcas,
No mad or jousting rabbits, no torturer rabbits,
Nor the executioner rabbits that illuminate
Medieval manuscripts, or holy hand grenades
Tossed by inept crusaders in chain mail.
Or a vested white rabbit. Oh, dear!

My measured pace catches up.
She has not a clue, yet
She knew, she could intuit.
She turns, very deliberate, looks
Back up, over her shoulder,
At me, who casts a shadow.
She furrows her brow, points
First at me, then at the hole.
“Do not go in there.” She means it.

Bruce Morton splits his time between Montana and Arizona. His poems have recently appeared in San Pedro River Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Loch Raven Review, Ibbetson Street, and Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Border. He was formerly Dean of Libraries at Montana State University.