Dear Mr Easter Rabbit — My Daddy says that you don’t write back because you are busy making deliveries so I thought I can write you a letter between seasons. Where do you live? Oh and thanks for the eggs. They seem smaller this year.
Hi Eli. Please call me East. Ironic I guess because to answer your question, I live in the Pacific Northwest. I used to live in the Ukraine but with all annexations and craziness there, I moved. Labour costs are higher here so I had to cut back on the size of eggs — but I think you can see the difference in quality. Nice to hear from you in the off-season. Almost no one ever writes back to say thanks.
Dear Mr East — thank you for your letter. I like the egg stamp. How did you know orange was my favourite colour? Sorry about your move. I moved once when my mommy and I left our apartment to live with Dale. He makes great egg salad sandwiches — I wish he made more but he says I need variety and I can not live on only eggs he says. What do you eat?
Hi Eli — glad you liked the stamp. I used to get free postage but with the economic downturn a few years ago, governments cut out free Easter delivery. Apparently Kris K. didn’t get touched but that’s another story. I’m actually allergic to eggs so can’t help you in that department. That’s why I deal in chocolate and hollow eggs. I’m otherwise pretty much a vegan. No surprise there. Kinda sick of carrots to be honest.
Dear Mr East — I asked Dale to explain your letter but he said I am too young to understand egganomics and he does not understand how you pay bills. I have a piggy bank that has my chore money in it. Sometimes I use it for popcorn day st school. Can you bring popcorn for Easter?
Dear Eli — it sounds like your parents are teaching you some great lessons and you’re working hard. Sadly Monsanto and The Big 3 cereal makers have the corn market pretty much cornered and there isn’t much room for me to enter the market; I like to buy non-GMO and fair trade cocoa and sugar and my connections there are strong. Plus the egg is a pretty important holiday symbol and I’m sure Christians would have something to say if I went with corn.
Dear Mr East — I like cereal. Mommy and Dale give me chocolate cereal sometimes. I do not know if it is fair trade — but I think it is fair because I love them very much and I am a good boy. It is made with spelt they say. I do not know what that is but maybe you can use it. They mix mine with spider eggs when I am good. I do not think they are really spider eggs, but they pop in my mouth. I like them. Do you want to come for a play date some day?
Eli — I don’t really do play dates. Sadly there are rules against children being left alone with adults and more against spending time with unknown animals. All the harder when your parents can’t see me. Sad — it’s why my Therapist says I suffer from social isolation disorder — she says I need to get out more. I feel trapped. All it does is rain it seems.
Dear Mr East — Do you have an umbrella and rubber boots? Sometimes when mommy turns the lights out at night I feel trapped. I hold Paddington close when I am anxious. Mommy says he has magic. Where does your magic come from? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Dale is making pie.
Dear Eli — That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’ve always just been this way. Thanks for listening. I might get me a Paddington too. Maybe a dog. I hear that people with pets have a better quality life. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too — I love pie.
Dear Mr East — I want a dog. My mommy needs medicine if she is around cats. I do not know about rabbits. Maybe I should ask for a pet rabbit. Then you could come and play? Ethan says you do not exist — but I do not believe him because the Tooth Fairy gave me money for my tooth.
Dear Eli — I like the way you think. I’m as a real as you want me to be … who else could write you back? As for Ethan — do you have a last name? I should take him off my list for next year.
Dear Mr East — I do not know Ethan’s last name. He is in Mr Krobner’s class — his backpack is blue and red and he picks his nose. He pushed me in a puddle. He is not my friend any more. Can I give you my Christmas list? It would save me time and stamps.
Dear Eli — Ethan definitely is off my list for next year. As for Christmas — that’s not my department, sorry. We have service contracts in place with heavy penalties if we tamper. Not sure why anti-trust legislation doesn’t apply. I should make a complaint to the World Trade Organization. And, yes, postage is a real killer these days.
Dear Mr East — Grade 1 is hard with all my homework. This writing is taking a lot of time. Guess I have to write to Santa myself. Mom says we have no more stamps. I like you Mr Easter Rabbit. I hope I can see you next Easter. I promise to be a good boy. I hope you find a nice dog. Dale says you should fight the Trade Organs. Maybe you should go to the doctor? My doctor is nice. I have to go now. Have a nice vacation. Love Eli.
Poem drafted and submitted as part of my participation of “National Poetry Writing Month – 2017” (#NaPoWriMo2017). Today’s poetry prompt: I challenge you to take your inspiration, like our featured interviewee did in the chapbook she co-authored with Ross Gay, from the act of letter-writing. Your poem can be in the form of a letter to a person, place, or thing, or in the form of a back-and-forth correspondence.
All text and photography © Dale Schierbeck
…. more of my original Poetry on EatsWritesShoots here.