Miranda Field: “Field Hare”
A wild thing held in the arms or in the hand acts like a dying thing. It doesn’t need to listen, knows without persuasion to be still—not like a belief in ghost or gods, but like a faith in air. And air escapes it. It breathes as if its lungs had been replaced by gills, and the water shifted from the world. Or if instead of fear its veins were filled with gratitude. A chill gray northern morning swallowing a ship’s hold loaded with equatorial parrots. Birds far from home, sick with a sense that flies from them. Birds woken, shaken loose from their systems like pieces of a small clock, minute hands. Or like the joke told me by the shy Hungarian girl who watches my child. There’s a vital crack. It flies past my ear. And I feel nothing but the afterbreeze of wings. And she’s shot down. When a thing is lifted from the grass, like an egg from the nest, implanted in the minds of strangers (ectopic, cuckoo), why wouldn’t it tense itself against invasion? He traps the animal himself. He keeps it tenderly, as a mother stays her hand from harming what she holds. He saves it from the butcher, dresses it in soft and even softer strokes of stylus and brush. He feeds it something with the odor of singed hair (bent over the candle to see the subject clearer). Now finds a veil for it to wear, the light that filters from a foreign sky, a sauce heated long and slow enough to gather to itself subtle undertow. The senses drink, the senses nearly drown in the strange stare. And all the ganglia surrender.
Image by Albrecht Dürer