Floppy Bunny Hugs

January 20, 2009
By Allyson Mead, Hot Springs, AR

His floppy pink ears no longer sit at a jaunty angle
But droop behind his head so he looks like Doraemon
His pink fur has faded over the years
It’s hard to tell where the white fur of his stomach begins
The polka dot bow around his neck is wrinkled up under his chin
His fluffy white tail has been sewn back on twice
His name has changed thrice, from ‘Bunny’ to ‘Axel’ to ‘Marly’
But the warmth from his embrace remains the same
It is a poor substitute for her
But when I swallow Marly in my arms
I try not to picture her laying in a stark white room
With tubes and clicks on the marble floor
And the overwhelming smell of bleach
Instead I smell her son’s barbeque
See her playing with her dog
And hear her talking my mother’s ear off
Until these are no longer memories
I will sit and hold Marly close
And let my mother take a picture
So she’ll know that he’s comforting me
When everything seems so uncertain

The author's comments:
On January 19, 2008, my mom's fiance's mother, Hazel, started chemotherapy for cervical cancer. Three years ago on Easter, she gave me a huge stuffed rabbit that has stayed with me through going to residential high school and college. He is my best friend and helps me deal with all of my worries.

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