A hare isn’t always in a trap
or hanging from a butcher’s hook.
It isn’t always being jugged, or stewed,
nor is it necessarily a symbol for something else,
a fairy story, or a woman gone mad. A hare isn’t
always the subject of a sketch or even a poem.
Mostly, it is itself, rare, but somewhere out there
on the hillside or in the grass beside the river,
super-vigilant, the way hares are, sleeping with its
gentle eyes wide open and, in an act of faith,
running with them closed, a creature of that light
which falls between day and night. And the fact
that we don’t see her doesn’t mean she does not
exist – unlike the shape-shifting atoms of scientific myths.
Take yourself out of the picture. Leave her free
to race beyond the snare of your words.
‘The Hare’ by Maggie Wadey was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.
Maggie Wadey is a novelist, screenwriter and poet. Her mother was Irish and her father English. In 2016 she published ‘The English Daughter’ (Sandstone Press) a memoir of her mother and Ireland. She has recently completed a novel, ‘Eros In Blue’, composed of eleven closely-connected parts, and in October last year she won first prize in the Wells Literary Festival Open Poetry Competition. She lives in Hackney, East London, with her husband and more than a thousand books.