When I got that invitation,
I felt a sense of expectation,
because it’s such a lovely treat
to go to someone’s home to eat.
I always think good etiquette
is to eat up all the food you get.
The luncheon table was divine:
Gourmet nibbles, vintage wine
Linen napkins, serviette rings
Name cards and other fiddly things
A fine display of forks and knives
Alternating husbands and wives.
Across from me there sat an heir
who meddled in stocks and shares.
He was ready for conversation
of intellectual inclination.
The anticipation got intense
waiting for the meal to commence.
My stomach rumbled with elation,
predicting culinary sensations,
but all my hopes fell through
when they served up rabbit stew.
It was, you see, a bit too much
to think of Snowy in his hutch.
(I’d had a bunny as a child,
so rabbit meat was exiled
from any dish or any table.
I couldn’t eat it. I was not able.
Yet there it was upon my plate.
I had to eat it. I could not wait).
But here’s a little rabbit fact:
Did you know that they are packed
with over a hundred tiny bones,
more than any human owns?
The first spoonful that I bit
had three long rabbit bones in it.
Into my napkin I did spit
and hoped and prayed that that was it,
that my share of rabbit bones was gone
and I could try to battle on
and learn to gracefully dismiss
my lifelong rabbit prejudice.
My second bite was in my cheek
when the heir chose to speak.
‘So tell me,’ the heir inquired
‘Is your food as you desired?’
I smiled at him, a gumless grin,
as I panicked from within.
My mouth was full of rabbit bone.
I couldn’t speak. I felt alone.
My head spun in revolution,
but there was no clear solution.
And it seemed good sense had flown:
I swallowed down them rabbit bones.
‘Delicious,’ I lied. ‘Just divine.
Rabbit’s a favourite of mine.’
My heart fluttered, my eyes closed shut,
I thought of the bones inside my gut.
I felt anxious, I was concerned
while the bones within my stomach churned.
My system tried hard to digest
those wretched bones. It did its best.
And now every day I do wonder
if my guts will be torn asunder.
Have I passed them? Have they gone
or are they somehow clinging on
to the wall of my intestine?
I have to know. I need a sign.
Should I examine my daily faeces
to locate all the bony pieces?
Should I knock on my doctor’s door
and demand a scan, x-ray and more?
Are the bones really stuck?
Will I ever pass this buck?
The moral’s clear: It isn’t funny,
I need to be a smarter bunny,
because it’s a fact that’s so well known:
never swallow a rabbit bone.
Nuala McEvoy started to while away the long pandemic hours by writing daft poems, and now she has a stash of silliness on her computer. She hopes that by sharing her ramblings, she will raise a smile or two.