She stomps on the hole not knowing,
as she does now, that they were baby
rabbits—thinks mice, or moles, or star-nosed shrew.

The possibility of five squirming horrors
brings her foot down twice before
I reach her. Stop, Mom. Stop, I say,
and pull at her raised arms.

They are in our garden,
bejeweled with vestments of red,
the blood looks clear, like wine.

The hole is a nest under the umbrella
of tomato and bell pepper, bits of hay.
Their eyes are glued shut, too early
to eat any of the vegetables.

I lift each body from the hole. My mother,
panic deflated, hovers in the background.
Two are dead, I mutter. By that I mean
the blue skin around their mouths.

Tricia Asklar received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in Rochester, NY, and teaches at Nazareth College. Her poems have appeared in Redactions: Poetry and Poetics and on Verse Daily, and are forthcoming in Blue Earth Review and Neon Literary Journal. She recently collaborated with five other poets on a piece for PUSH Physical Theatre (performed at Rochester’s Geva Theatre in February). (tasklar@yahoo.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761