The Rabbit | By Sadie Maskery
The Christmas that she left,
Dad took me to the market.
I need to see a man, he said,
look after yourself. There was
slush numbing my feet, my fingers
whined with the hurt of it,
fumbling at toys on the stalls.
One had soft teddies, button eyes,
and a rabbit dumped near the back -
the ear had snagged on a stitch
so it hung askew. I touched
its nose and wished it a happy home.
Wandered for another hour,
icy jeans slapping against my calves
then he turned the corner, said,
right. We're out. Cheeks mottled,
no more chat, and he hit the whisky
that night. On Christmas day
he said gruffly, here, this is for you.
I tore back the paper and there,
wonky eared, was the rabbit I had loved.
I'm sorry, I whispered, I'm so sorry.
Sadie Maskery (Twitter @saccharinequeen ) lives in Scotland by the sea with her family and too many cats. She was a singer until March 2020 but now she is not quite sure what she is.