A rough draft/first writing, but I really wanted to share this. I'll share it again if/when I fix it up.
We found a pet rabbit in the backyard
A skinny, gray rabbit too scared to protest being handled
Too scared to eat, to move, to bite.
She was the timeless children’s classic, the discarded Velveteen,
Except she never found her way back home.
For weeks, she ran from touch. She lunged when I moved a hand toward her nose
She fought and kicked when I tried to pick her up, she grunted at the cat.
For weeks, she was all I could talk about. I shared her picture like a parent
With a new child. I giggled about her grunts, I rolled up my sleeves to
Show off her bites. I told my therapist about her
And she instantly became a metaphor. All her rabbit habits are mine as well:
The distrust, the fear of touch, the hiding and the digging.
I lay next to her cage for hours to gain her trust
The way the rabbit websites told me to
The way I wanted someone to lay next to me.
A co-worker once jokingly called me the rabbit whisperer
Like I have some secret way to communicate and teach a fragile prey animal
To trust, to be comfortable, to eat food from my hands.
But it’s not a secret at all: I and the rabbit have the same wide eyes,
The same speeding heartbeat, the same vigilant posture.
I only treated her the way I want to be treated.