Ryan Clinesmith Shares "A Holiday Dream"

Richard Pan

A Holiday Dream

Ryan Clinesmith, Assistant Headmaster

I just moved into a new apartment with a backyard
where the old tenants left a bunny rabbit.
The bunny was white pawed, full grown, and stand offish,
coming out from behind the fence every morning and evening to graze,
to nibble on the untended grass. One morning,
I saw the neighbors move out, headed back home for the holiday,
college students gone for the season,
unable to bring home the cat they adopted on a whim.

So each morning from then on,
before the first dusting of snow and icicles,
I witnessed this cat and rabbit meet in the backyard.
They gazed at first then followed each other in an orbit through the grass.
It went on for some days, a month,
the cat and rabbit living in some cycle of morning and evening dance,
and out of the blue, after seasons and a mild winter,
—there were kittens,

and when the bunny hopped from the fence on this day,
the kittens and rabbit made their first encounter,
the abandoned mother still staying far,
I watched the newcomers orbit closer and closer,
then, breaching the divide out of pure curiosity,
they stopped and considered
with brushed whiskers and touched noses,
mother still watching from afar.

Some days after, the college kids returned for their abandoned cat,
but they couldn’t take on kittens; so,
by crating the mother and leaving her children,
it seemed, one morning, the kittens were abandoned too—
but then from the fence hopped the rabbit,
and the half grown kittens pranced,
and in a jumble of fur and subtle licks they sat together
and found warmth in the season’s cold.