There’s life in the orchards behind our house
all manner of crawlers, flapping, soft eyes, pointed ears,
rustlings, twig snapping and warm fragrant pellets.
Mostly in chilly walks at daybreak and approaching
evening they make themselves known, suddenly appearing
between the trees— a wing, a whirr, armored heads and legs,
eyes of fawn and wonder, a twitch, a frisk
and then they’re gone, bounding away.
Yesterday my terrier unearthed a hare. Without warning
her sniffing turned into a streak, a frenzied chase
as like thunder after lightning the two of them disappeared
into the maze of trunks. A minute passed and then they
reappeared, the rabbit bounding and dodging and she
after him hugging the ground like a black express train.
She almost caught him and then they disappeared again.
I found her fifteen minutes later after persistent calling
and whistling, in the silence, my ears pricked for a
clue of her— panting, prostrate in a pool of shade,
heart, tongue and body all heaving, wheels going
round upended in exhaustion
And he, the hare, standing there in the road like a comic
strip character, hands in pockets, cigarette dangling from
drawling lips, slim and elegant in his own environment
as slowly I half-carried half-coaxed my doggie home to
water, a cool corner and a bath.