Saturday, April 6, 2019

On the Way to California


On the way to California,
we set the rabbits free
in Stanley Park.
They joined the other rabbits, 
and began to run about
in joyous circles,
tasting their first freedom,
out of the cage at last. 

“Look, Jeff! They’re dancing!”
I smiled at my young son.
His round blue eyes, stricken,
looked back –
look at me still –
a single tear rolling down his cheek.

A mother’s heart
takes a lashing
with every memory.

I broke my young son's heart
on the way to California,
and was too young
and unevolved,
back then,
to understand.

for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads: a poem inspired by the art work of Jason Limberg, the StarGazing Rabbit.


  1. A mother’s heart
    takes a lashing
    with every memory...

    Oh, I know this, after releasing a pair of ducks back into the wild, only to hear that they did not survive. One of those things I'll never be forgiven for, least of all by myself.

  2. Oh Sherry, this one speaks so directly into a parent's experience. We've all been there in one way or another. And wish we'd been older and wiser. It just doesn't work that way. We must grow and learn right along with them. You brought back a few memories,


  3. Parenting doesn't come with a how to...i like that you did the right thing and set the rabbits free to be with other rabbits instead of in a cage

  4. Oh this is incredibly evocative, Sherry!❤️ Parents tend to understand things that children can never hope to owing to difference in age and wisdom.

  5. I really like how this poem demonstrates that one persons happiness is often another heartache. Well done and viva la!

  6. Poor fellow. Not every good thing is a happy occasion. My sister and I each had a rabbit on the farm. When they became adult my parents said to let them be barnyard rabbits. Same with ducks. We think a coyote got mine. Can't remember the lives if the rabbits

  7. A mother’s heart
    takes a lashing
    with every memory.

    Oh lord, that is so true. It is so hard when we have to say no to a child when it wants a pet and when we must let go of one for whatever reason.

  8. *sigh* so sad, and yet, we do our best.

  9. those last two stanzas are ripping Sherry -- just ripping,
    but then, all we can ever do, is what we believe to be right and for the best, in the moment ...

  10. Oh yes, how our well-meaning motherly sins continue to haunt us!

  11. Gah. Yes this sentiment resides deep in my bones always. xo

  12. Oh, that’s a moment that stays with you.

  13. ... and the fact that domesticated rabbits don't usually survive. Let's hope your son never knew that... I so get it though - a mother's not perfect - OH how I know that! If only the children knew how our hearts only want to protect them.


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