Mary Quade
Rabbit in foliage.
Photo by Davies Designs on Unsplash

In the hallowed shade of basil and beneath the bower
of beans. What do you mean, to be so softly
ruinous? A puff, still as some mute memory
of illicit gnawing I’d like to forget. The dewy
after-chew of missing lettuce, the abrupt 
halt of the tulip stalk, budless. I can forgive
your hunger, but not your choices. In the 
straw mulch, I uncover a cuddled squirm of fur, all
eyes squinted shut against the view of my 
cruel hesitation. Each ball of bunny nubbled
with ears, paws, nose. And somewhere, growing inside
jaws—teeth. You live this life acutely. Quiet and
aquiver, nibbling against the hawk, the fox, the boot,
the dog—in whose own sharp mouth you seem to sing.

Poet and essayist Mary Quade is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of the poetry collections Guide to Native Beasts (Cleveland State University Poetry Center) and Local Extinctions (Gold Wake). Her work has been awarded an Oregon Literary Fellowship and three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards. She is an associate professor of English at Hiram College, where she teaches creative writing, and lives in Madison, Ohio.