It was hare – a poem by Julie Sampson

It was hare 

who did it, twisted my inner logic.
I had to reconsider the pantheon -
cow parsley waving from the April hedge 
chervil gesticulating her witchery litany,
the ancestors calling out, again
We’re Still Here

inviting, chiding us
to pay our respects
as once all the others did.

Opening the door, flies suss the car, 
apparently I’m their target.

We were beside the River Valley Walk 

undulating down to the tranquil Little Dart,
hare arriving with sideways skips,
lollops into, then over the verge 
a-zigzagging here and there over the over-there criss-cross field,
then, pausing on hedge’s crest 
gazing intently north 
she steadily surveys the treasure map, half-tamed, her universe.
Goldeneye of Masquerade on mission,
or one of the mysterious triad,
hare’s turning, 
spinning in her spiralling  gyre –
she’s watching for her young, half-
buried in the fold in the next field, you say

but I know where she goes 
I am to follow – 

tunnel through the secrets brushing the long reed-grass,
shuffle into wheat’s hidden kernel 
where the reapers swipe their glinting scythes.

There’s transformation in the sunlit field  
sent by those marking the elongating midday shadows
who gifted these finches to sing -

where she goes I
know  I am 
   to follow – 
walking sideways, always after out of sync.

Note: Hare appeared by our car just south of Affeton castle West Worlington, in Devon

Julie Sampson’s poetry is widely published. She edited Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems, 2009 (Shearsman Books); her collectionsare Tessitura(Shearsman Books, 2014) and It Was When It Was When It Was (Dempsey & Windle, 2018 ). She received an ‘honourable mention’ in the Survision James Tate Memorial Prize, in 2021. Her main website is at JulieSampson. 

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