Lago

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Lago

Arrived whiskers first
chewing this and that
among blown leaves
on a winter day
at a time of our need.
Someone we couldn’t find
had abandoned him.
We took him in.

*
small damp pink rubbery
tongue, accompanied by
light touch of whiskers
lick lick lick lick

*
We gave him names:
Ngubunny, Bunyata,
Walter Benjamin Bunny
Mr Boon, Doctor Rabbit,
and so on and more.
He knew our scent names
(which we don’t.)

*
Exchanging body heat,
held in my arms
where my heart beat,
until the warmth
got through the clothes
and fur. He’d nuzzle in,
relax, lick any skin.
*
His greatest LEAP
clear
from the wardrobe,
four paces, six times his height
jack-in-a-box out of stillness
up onto the bed.

*
Loved Parrot Puffs
(fruit crackers for birds),
chocolate, raisins, dried fruit,
celery stalks, lettuce,
shoots from the avo tree.
Tolerated rabbit pellets.

*
Thumping, sometimes. Why?
Clicking claws on wooden boards.
A tiny cough or bark
his only word.
Displeasure.

*
Half-size (Netherlands dwarf),
he nipped the cats to make them preen,
pissed in my eye as he thundered by
in a firework circle on the bed,
scratch-scratch-scratched for a scrape on the rug,
ate the books, the clothes, the bag,
the shoes, the belt, the basket, the frame
of the door, gnawed at electric wires
and was generally a rascally rabbit
who taught us tidiness and vigilance.

*
A hundred and twenty moons he saw loop by,
serene in the black or through the windy clouds.
Nine times the avo tree took off its leaves
and budded flowers, and the bees were loud.
Three thousand three hundred nights he loped
inside to sniff about
and when the sun came out,
he came in, curious, as though he hoped
for novelty. Was I or the rabbit
the repetitive creature of habit?

*
Presents himself long and flat
to have the muscles beside his spine
massaged. Settles in for this.

*
Old, he no longer jumps
up to his chair for the sun.
Instead, he lolls out flat
a grey rag in a sunspot
on the floor.
At night I often see him
staring at the moon
or so it seems.
Perhaps he just craves light.

*
Guileless, un-envying
empty of hate, grudgeless,
without schemes or wiles.

*
coat softer than granny’s
fox-fur powder puff

*
Good night my old friend, I hope you sleep well,
My affection for you rings bright as a bell.
So often I have held your warm body to me,
Good night little friend, sleep deep, dream free.

*
In the night by the rutted track
Crouching, a big hare
thinks he’s a grey stone, a stone…
Four or five great leaps
into darkness. Gone
back to the eternal
pasturing of hares
on earth, among grasses.

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