The Fox and the Hare

Anthony Lawrence

 

The scare tactics of the hare are not lost on the fox:

tight circles going nowhere in a trapeze of light

as though the spoor that leads to a mating season

were sleight-of-hand in a hand-me-down winter coat.

 

A ditch is a busted suitcase filled with moonlight,

a roadkill quoll its strewn contents.

The hare is shadow-boxing with itself in a squall

of intention, up on its feet to uppercut a rival.

 

The fox needs no introduction, but when it steps out

into the spotted wreckage of a death in headlight glass,

it barks as the hare ducks and weaves to make a leveret.

Straw, straw, the little raven clawhammers a dirge

 

over alder trees stripped to a dieback of welcome.

In the overtaking lanes of endangerment, the wind

through Triabunna cranes is a mongrel.

The loading docks of the hunting lodge are skinned

 

to the foundations. The dinner table surface

of a sawn-off sassafras is ringed as a sawmill blade.

The fox and the hare square off like a magic trick.

A double take is a hawk and its shadow at work.

 

Anthony Lawrence’s most recent book of poems is Headwaters (Pitt Street Poetry, 2016). His books and individual poems have won many awards, and his poetry has been translated into a number of languages, including Italian, German, Slovenian, and Hungarian. He is a Senior lecture at Griffith university, Gold Coast, where he teaches Creative Writing.

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