A Rabbit On A Lawn

Both Rusty and Pepper are hard on the scent,
with noses low, sniffing a path across the lawns,
navigating a crooked line, both of them intent
upon catching this critter, until suddenly it dawns

on them the trail enters the street, where they
are trained never to go. So ends their midnight hunt,
a rare reversion to the wild for house pets who may
not encounter another rabbit for many a month.

There, across the suburban street in the very middle
of the manicured carpet, spotlighted by the streetlight,
sits the rabbit frozen, not moving a hair. He is little
aware that he is a highly visible lawn ornament tonight.

Following instinct, this rabbit perceives his behavior
should make him invisible, disappearing into cluttered
undergrowth, whereas I view him as foolish. “You’re
not hidden but in plain view.” My warning barely uttered,

I watch him hunker down, refusing to change his ways.
A sudden dawning: Many humans are like this rabbit.
To them their actions seem appropriate, behavior that pays,
while others perceive them as wrong, having foolish habits.

Religious fanatics seeking to dictate morals for all the rest,
Racial bigots considering themselves champions of their race,
Cheats, liars, hypocrites who act as though dishonesty is best,
Busybodies, gossips whose comments are always out of place,
On and on…many humans don’t know they’re a rabbit on a lawn.

Harry Edward Gilleland      11.14.02