Photo by Maggie Eiseman-Renyard
I am the thing
that is the spring
I am the streaking flash of white
tail disappearing, confounding your sight
as into my hole I goes,
into my hole in the ground.
Its edges are round
as a cave, as a womb,
as the hollow dome of the little toy tomb
in a model Easter Garden
glowing in cardboard
on a Sunday School table.
Sailors, soldiers and settlers from ancient Rome
bore us, their livestock, here to their new home
where we were despised by indigenous hare,
who, unimpressed by the features we share,
never initiated us into their mysteries
of ritual combat and moon goddess history.
Yet we had arrived and undaunted, we thrive,
So common now that the common is ours,
has been for centuries— but strange human powers
to deliver confectionery or eggs from the birds—
into their dwellings? That’s just absurd.
Would there be any reason to do such a thing
in this, of all seasons, the rawness of spring?
For it’s us, and not your dead, down here—
We are preoccupied at this time of year—
keeping warm in the earth, working full-time at birth.
My young ones grow strong, getting ready to rise,
start to run with the wind, adjusting their eyes
to crocus and daffodils, moss and bright sky.
We’ll find nettles and dandelions, our Pascal feast
then leave piles of brown pellets, not colourful sweets.
Nose knows and ears twitch when we need to run, fleet,
from your human footstep, from imminent danger—
from foxes and hawk, from owl, dog and stranger,
Crown of thorns? My safe home, of course—
I find my salvation in bramble and gorse.
Maggie is a member of NW London Area Quaker Meeting