You are reading an archived issue of Sleet Magazine. To return to the current issue, click here.

Volume 2 Number 2 • Fall - Winter 2010-2011

Christine Brandel

The Rabbit

The Rabbit

You are four years old. Your father has just divorced your mother. You have just learned the meaning of the word divorce. You are sitting on a swing in your backyard. You are feeling lonely although you don't yet know the meaning of the word lonely. By the fence the honeysuckle is moving. You wonder why. You kneel down and see that a baby rabbit is caught in the wire of the old fence. You want to touch it but something inside of you tells you not to. You run to get your mother. She has been crying but you do not notice. You and she go out to the fence. She pulls back the honeysuckle, hoping the rabbit will free itself. She knows nothing of rabbits. It does not free itself. Your mother reaches in, praying she won't get bitten, and pulls it free. She is not bit. But the rabbit doesn't run away. Its legs don't work. You say, we've got to save it. Your mother carries it inside. You make a bed for it in a shoebox. You feed it milk from an eyedropper. Do rabbits drink milk? All afternoon you sit with the box on your lap. Your mother is weary, smoking cigarettes. In the evening the rabbit dies. You think it is sleeping. Your mother tells you it has died. You say it's sleeping. Your mother says you don't understand. Your mother takes the box from you. Your mother is crying. You notice. You don't want to understand. You do.


He was two days later than the cat, seven suns earlier.

Lincoln held his breath waiting for his birthday to come.

This was a kid who grew beards at will, just to show his friends

he was no ordinary son. His grandfather had carved him

a wooden party hat with a live sparkler at the tip which Lincoln

did not know could hurt his hair. He was after all round headed.

Like others, yes! Because no guests arrived, why his mother

hadn't even been born yet, Lincoln had to find play.

He made his body into a table and sat still as stone

until they set his cake on his back and he could not blow to wish.

Christine Brandel technically has blonde hair, and her work has appeared in journals throughout the US and UK. One of her interests is comedy, though her life is a tragedy. She devotes much of her time to idle worship of Miss Agatha Whitt-Wellington, whose exploits are documented at

top of page
to fiction
to poetry
to flash
to irregulars
to interview