Self-portrait, with young hare and unfinished shed

~ after Albrecht Dürer, 1502

In the backyard, where workmen have left
two-by-fours and panels of exterior plywood

next to the HVAC unit, a young hare twitches
in the damp grass. The shed we’re trying

to put up is only a shell— frame made of
eight beams on a small cement square, nothing

yet resembling a roof. The carpenter we hired
didn’t say we needed to get a permit. When we

pointed to the existing shed leaning against
the far end of the fence, its hems rotted

through from standing in water with every
hard rain, he merely said, I can build you

one’a those for cheap. He comes and goes
every couple of weeks, putting in a few

hours at the end of the day; it’s been two
months since we started. Then, a week ago

we get a notice from the city, with the words
stop, and fine, and permit. I kind of feel

like you, I say to the hare, stooping down
to eye level and wondering why it doesn’t

bolt though I can tell its heart rate
has increased in the last three minutes

since I came upon it, on my way to throw
the trash into the bin. Perhaps it’s trying

to gauge the nature of the threat, or if I am
one. I watch the soft brown hairs on its chest

ripple, its haunches tamp down into a spring.
One move— and one of us will break the spell.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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