rabbit rabbit

my mother tamed a rabbit 
fur-trimmed scented 
in a hat she could hide in 
they bunny hopped on the hat’s 
dance floor and because 
the rabbit led with his chin 
my mother insisted 
his razor and strop 
were restrained in the bathroom 
once she found blood on her towel 
once she wondered if the rabbit 
was cutting away her coats 
when he needed forgiveness 
the rabbit slept on a white napkin 
my mother ate hunter’s oatmeal 
so the rabbit knew the boss 

the examination unremarkable

the resurrection hearts               rewired and jailed 
are cavities of metal birds           the lower branches 
that never sing                          on the kissing side 
in ward 26 surgeons teach          with no ischaemic changes 
the ECG to say                         probable plaque rupture 
too many eggs                          a stenosis 
too much bacon                        mild and eccentric 
for the heart                             no longer hunts 

the morning of my mother’s funeral her cup is sober-minded

two plumbers install a shower 
my mother will never use 
they eat her peanut rockies 
in the coronation tin 
they pour tea 
from her noritake pot 
and read her cup 
this morning the leaves present 
coffin and men at work 
spade as steady as grave digging 
the earth a circle within a cross 
my cousin the cardinal 
walks my mother 
through psalm 23 
so she’ll not want 
everything takes too long 
for the undertaker 
the mass this poem 
the cup of tea 
outside 76a I make him 
stop the hearse so the plumbers 
at the gate can lower 
their cloth caps to my mother 
two grave diggers well away 
from the artificial grass 
share a smoke with the reverence 
of strangers and with the same 
courtesy wait for the tea 


Kerrin P. Sharpe’s first book of poems three days in a wishing well was published by VUP in 2012. A selection of her work appeared in Oxford Poets 13. Her second book is forthcoming from VUP in 2014.