Animals, abused, sadly speak without words,

emotion relayed through movement.

A painful, involuntary snapshot of who they’re

conditioned to be.

Flinching, cowering before the blow arrives,

they crouch in anticipation of bearing the pain

in stoic silence.

Rabbits with spirits scarred,

whose hearts now play a song of gratitude

for someone who taught them to trust—

they have a dance all their own.

Mid-air leaps, sideways kicks, body gyrations;

heads shakin’ as if rockin’ out to their own

inner concerts.

No inhibition, a total expression of joy.

They feel love in the beauty

of air sweeping by them.

How tragic when we humans too

have learned to withdraw in fear,

‘stead of leaping to seize life’s promise

of whom we are meant to be.

Sharing bonds of faith and courage,

finding unexpected redemption for ourselves—

we give love to help bunnies heal

with hearts safe to rise to full-body dance.

by Heidi A. Macfarlan Johnson