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The hare crosses each lost cantref
of Scotland hedgerow by hedgerow.
Every parish she encounters
leap by leap dissolves below
her movement over time. She lopes
from Pitlochry to Pitmedden,
from Glasgow to Linlithgow, hops
inch by inch into the melting
winter of another culture.
The hare is the white crescent moon.
Behind her time like a lurcher
stalks the fields and the open moor.
Mist blurs their grey pelts to a smirr,
flecks of words, names of the once great
kings and thanes bristle on their fur.
Their hides itch with priests and prelates.
The hare is a brief stretch that strays
across ditches, is set couchant
on her hunkers, ears twitching ways
like a dowser of air, silent,
nosing curt crows from the cut corn.
But the lurcher pushes on. Still
insistent, determined, the born
instinct to pursue for the kill
unfaltering. Now they're passing
under turbines and power lines,
their fleet flexible forms flashing
swiftly as they flit on through time.

    Note: Ysgyfarnog is Welsh for hare.

Gregor Addison

The Dark Horse

Spring 2017

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