Poem: Up the Rabbit Hole
down, down, down into the dark rabbit hole.
You wallowed in that darkness, content to stay there.
I stayed with you for a while.
We held hands, feeling our way together.
Then I scrambled toward the surface,
the light calling me, drawing me up.
At the crest of that hole, I reached back for you.
“Take my hand,” I said.
You stood in the shadow
the earth soft and loose, sifting down to settle on your shoulders.
You turned away.
You wouldn’t come up, couldn’t come up, didn’t dare.
I climbed out, over the lip, out of that hole
to face the light of day by myself.
But I squatted by that opening for days and days,
For weeks and weeks,
I called your name.
Whispered it in the thin light of the waning moon.
Shouted it at the break of dawn.
Cried it out in the dark of night.
Cried piteously for you.
You did not answer.
I peered down the hole.
Hello-o-o-o! I called.
“Yes, I’m here,” you finally said,
small and quiet, having drunk the wrong potion.
I stretched my hand back down the hole and
felt your fingertips graze mine
then withdraw beyond my touch.
But I saw you, a wisp of grey, hiding in the shadows.
Pressing into the dark earth, retreating far past
the reach of my hand, the strength of my heart, the call of my voice.
© 2005 Birdstory Publications