Image by Kristaps Grundsteins


the madrigal, volume iii

for when the hillside makes a wish the stars will listen

by abbie howell

There is a rabbit who stands, tall
and proud, at the bottom of my body

with a pair of glimmering antlers

protruding from his marbled crown.

He speaks, not from his mouth,
but from viscous words which drip
like molten honey around us. he admonishes,

‘do not be afraid’.

Small dandelion wisps cluster
around the edges of his fidgeting eyes

and that voice, flickering candle in a dark

room, scorches like a hardy bonfire.

‘I am who you sent for,’ he hums
at my landlocked disbelief, ‘when you prayed

to the star-lit sky for deliverance. for a saviour.

for relief.

‘You have pulled me from the garden

of the stars in which my family sit

and so I offer you this parting gift:

one wish.’

Mushrooms, a decadent decay irremovable

from my moss skin, tilt their heads to catch

my weather-ravaged croak.
‘I would like,’ I say, ‘to be sung to sleep.’

The rabbit twitches- whiskers hit staccato rhythms-

and he tilts his head, narrows his eyes to examine

the crevices which inhibit me. ‘the truth is, life
is so long and I am so very tired;

‘I would like to feel peace, if just for a moment

under the soft breath of a warm song.’
he shrugs, ears flopping to encase his white-fur

shoulders, and begins his melody.

Fireflies perform their last rights above me
as gentle petals bloom across my hillside body,

weave a thick quilt of flowers
which hold me safe and warm.

For now, it does not matter that I will be gone
by morning. the only importance is that I am safe,

with a star-song lulling me to sleep
under the watchful speckled sky.

Abbie Howell is a 19 year-old English poet who adores writing about the surreal, love of all kinds, and the impossibility of being human. In her spare time you can find her playing her guitar and laying in the warm sun. Find her on Twitter @abbiehowell_