To Do List

To do list

  1. Communicate with rabbits.  I held a tame but terrified white bunny last week at the request of S. before his surgery, before they knocked him out and cut his throat with a sharp blade.  I obeyed because it was S.  But the soft white rabbit snuggled in to my chest and I could feel his gentle rabbit breath and whiskers touching my arm, and I was certain, at least for a second, that I’d like to spend more time holding this particular creature.  If I knew how to communicate with him, I’d support him in pursuing his tiny rabbit goals.
  2. Drink whisky.  I discovered that I love the smoky, boggy peat flavor, the mild cauterization that occurs in my throat and heart, the way it wakens my nose, and it's appearance in a glass: amber, intense, full of angry mystery.  (You can tell this is a poem becauseof the word “wakens.”  Dead give-away.)
  3. Figure out what else is in the suitcase with my dad’s ashes.  Winter clothes?  Christmas decorations?  Seven years of tax files?  This, I've learned, is what we do in our family:  we put our dead in a suitcase in a storage locker.  (You can tell this is a poem because it has dead people in it now.)
  4. Dissect the dream I had last night where the mean HR lady at work had me moving hoses around so they could water stuff that's out of reach. I spent the night crawling around under people’s desks, hooking and unhooking hoses from spigots, believing it was worthy.  (You can tell this is a poem because now it has a dream in it.)
  5. Work on my outside voice.  (This doesn’t belong in the poem. At all.)
  6. Make sure the rent continues to be paid on the storage locker.
  7. Imagine what happened to the family photos my mom pitched when she moved last week.  Are my sisters and I those people now, the black and white children peering from scallop-edged curled photo-paper in a shoebox in a thriftstore?  Or did we go directly to the dumpster?


Comments

  1. That is a shame about your family photos ... I find it difficult throw away photos. Even the blurry ones tug at my heart and conscience.

    That rabbit-holding-experience sounds like what happens every time I hold a cat. Except for the times when they bite, scratch, kick, squirm or wriggle free. But the rest of the time, just the same as your experience. And I'm really hoping the open-throat surgery went extremely well. Wishing fast healing to the patient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... should read "difficult TO throw away photos ...

      Delete
    2. Also meant to tell you how lovely those photos of yours are. Is that snow in the first one?

      Delete
    3. Thanks for your well-wishes, Jennio! Yes, snow in the rockies in about 1965. I might even hold a cat one day, who knows....

      Delete
  2. Lost photos make me sad. I am the person who takes photos of the photos to be sure they don't get lost, and then backs the photos up on multiple computers and devices to be extra sure. I do not understand my obsession with photos, except they are puzzle pieces of a past I don't know or can't remember. I look for clues in them all the time.

    I hope the surgery went well, and hope you get to hold the bunny again soon.

    The ashes in a suitcase, in a storage locker, that is a sad image, but maybe not as sad as my Dad's ashes on a small shrine in Mom's living room. I was talking about those ashes last night, how when mom goes, I want to take the ashes and sprinkle them in all the places they loved.
    Then I might get a little closure. Maybe.

    Thanks for the photos. Going to make my own list now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not exactly sure which is sadder. Small shrine or storage locker.... hmm. Yes, sprinkling seems more customary, but what do I know.

      I can't wait to see your list!

      I don't know if I'll hold the bunny again. Right? But it did make me think about getting a pet besides Jeffrey, the rabbit that lives in the yard. (Is that giving up? I think I have officially given up.)

      xo

      Delete
  3. Betsy, this is indeed a poem and as a PUBLISHED POEMER (you're supposed to laugh there) I thought that But the soft white rabbit snuggled in to my chest and I could feel his gentle rabbit breath and whiskers touching my arm, and I was certain, at least for a second, that I’d like to spend more time holding this particular creature. If I knew how to communicate with him, I’d support him in pursuing his tiny rabbit goals. was more than a little bit breath taking especially given that rabbits are one of the stronger Animal Gods though not often recognized as such. I went to the fair last Thursday and I spoke to every single rabbit there from tiny bunnies to the monster huge rabbit sitting still as the Caterpillar on the mushroom who spoke to Alice. That giant rabbit was a God there is not doubting it. I loved this whole poem. To the very end. Thank you for it.
    Rebecca

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    Replies
    1. Your Radish Majesty,
      Thank you! I do believe in strong animal gods, at least a tiny bit. And I'm not surprised that you're a PUBLISHED POEMER! But I'm a tiny bit surprised that you spoke to every single rabbit. What kinds of things do you say? I'm at a loss for words around the rabbits.
      Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  4. I hate to break it to you but your family photos may very well end up on GREETING CARDS with inappropriate greetings inside, like " your butt IS bigger than your head" or "you're not getting old, you're actually dead".

    I know, I could consider another career.

    As for the whiskey, I'm a smoky Scotch person and I recently learned that you're supposed to add a splash of water to your bit o' Scotch to 'release' the flavor, I know this now and I feel sophisticated and suave, so look out.

    your friend in jesus,

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's not such a terrible fate! "Does this birthday make my butt look big?" and so on.
      I keep putting "drink whiskey" on my to do list but haven't actually gotten to it yet, so I'm glad I know the tip so I can look suave too. (Like the shampoo!) I think I need to know of a brand to order as well. (And I should learn to pronounce it.)

      It is so good to have a friend in jesus, Beth, but I wonder if a friend in scotch might be more realistic?

      Delete

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