The snowshoe hare paused just feet from where I stood,
well within the borders of a tree-lined path

and we regarded one another. The rain-wet hemlocks
ruffled their wings, and the ground beneath us, sunlit, steamed

but the hare merely worked its busy nose and the petals of its ears
above the soft, submerged stone of its body.

It was I that stirred first, snapping stick beneath shoe
and stared, breathless, as the hare transformed

from solid to what leapt, like light, or joy
and dappled across the forest floor with an invitation to follow

as a life released
by what once held it back.

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