DSCN1444We set out
to grow rabbits
and harvest their droppings
to give to the Red Wiggler worms
that create nutritious soil
out of paper, alpaca manure,
kitchen scraps—they especially
like rabbit manure.
But then,
we didn’t like
keeping the rabbits
in small hutches,
so we let them out
into a larger area,
inside the barn.
they tunneled their way out of the pen
and into the barn
where guineas and chickens
roost at night
and hang out in the heat of the day.
Now, guineas, rabbits, chickens
all live together—
though only the four rabbits have access
to their system of burrows.
But only the chickens and guineas
get to go outside.
Chickens eat rabbit food
and rabbits eat chickens’ corn.
Everyone eats the fresh greens we bring.
They share water bowls.
And all the manure
is mixed together.

What has emerged
is not what we intended,
and beyond our control.
We can only
keep our eye out for everyone,
keep them as safe as possible.
Within the limits
we try to manage
(rabbits can’t get out of the barn;
they rely on us for food, water;
we shepherd in the guineas
and shut the barn doors at night
to keep out predators)
these three species
have created a way to live together.
to see what we all create