Rabbit Cage

by David Armand

My brother and I are playing outside
while our dad nails together the frame
for a rabbit cage. It’s for our sister
who’s out at the store with Mom.
They’ve taken the only car we have:
a blue Pinto we rent for sixty dollars
a week, a car so small my brother and I
have to ride in the hatchback trunk
when we take my sister to school
in the mornings. It’s always cold
back there, even with the heater on.

We write our names on the glass.

Anyway, in the midst of the noise
of hammer against wood and nail,
we hear my father grunt in pain.
Then we hear him calling for help.

We run over to see he’s nailed
his hand to the side of the cage.
How he did this I’ll never know.
But he is losing a lot of blood,
his face is pale, his eyes are rolled
up to their white and bloodshot rims.

We help him get loose.

When our mom and sister get home,
they seem hard pressed to puzzle out
the rabbit cage leaning on its side,
but after a few minutes of explaining,
we all squeeze back into the blue Pinto
and drive to the hospital, sit there
for hours, then go back home, taking
turns in the one tiny bathroom,
washing ourselves and getting
ready for the next long day ahead,
as if all of this has happened before
and will continue to happen again
so long as we are poor and have
to do so much with so little.


Category: Featured, Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing