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.

Written by Gregor Addison.

Published in The Dark Horse: The Transatlantic Poetry Journal, Spring 2017, Issue 37, Edited by Gerry Cambridge. Featured on Poetry Daily at Poems.com

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