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Two poems by Rachael Ikins

Not the End: Rabbit

—Spring Melt

body’s crumple

mistaken for snow-slush.

Greyed melt off some vehicle’s


You, splayed

in the road

at the end

of my driveway.

Almost April.

Crocus nibbler.

Phosphorescent tail-

bobber weaving darkness.

Leaver of packeted pellets.

Hiding under the catnip,

eating my clematis, holly berries,

corn from the bird-feeders;

Night I crept to your shadow’s edge.

Wind hid you.

Shattered in the road

Spring lifts herself, droplets

salty from asphalt,

pain of a scraped knee.

I kneel, scoop you.

A sweep of sedge grasses,

snow-pinned curl

curves, holds you like

a mother or a lover.

Snow uncovers earth,

Grass-basket cut, sprung back,

I watch a crow inspect your bones

tear meat for nestling.

I sigh, mug-warmed hands


you fly away,

iridescent blue/green


I Just

Wanted to ride a bus.

Wanted to go to school.

Wanted to be in the spelling bee.

Wanted to nap on my couch.

Wanted to be an EMT, a cop;

college, a doctor.

Wanted to dash out for a pack

of smokes or a soda.

Wanted to vote.

Wanted to take my family to the beach.

Wanted a bed in a mental health clinic.

Wanted to take a run after supper.

Wanted to feel safe behind

my home’s locked door.

Wanted to be safe behind

my home’s locked door.

Wanted to be safe dreaming

in my bed behind

my home’s locked doors.

Wanted someone to say my name.

Wanted my children not to be laid out,

cuffed in a parking lot.

Wanted my sons not to have to watch

them pull me from the car.

Wanted people to believe I was trying

to grab my cell phone from the glove box.

Wanted to run faster than a bullet’s speed.

Wanted my Moms.

Wanted to be left alone with my asthma.

Wanted a gallon of milk.

I just wanted

to breathe.

Rachael Ikins is a 2016/18 Pushcart, 2013/18 CNY Book Award, 2018 Independent Book Award winner, & 2019 Vinnie Ream & Faulkner poetry finalist. She is a Syracuse University graduate and author/illustrator of nine books in multiple genres. Her writing and artwork have appeared in journals worldwide from India, UK, Japan, Canada and US.

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