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Hare & Hand

by lois hambleton

The standing grain my father called it, meaning what was left, of use. All grain is of the grass he always claimed. I only knew the smell of grain but he would judge it all by colour, hue, the day of week and each one had a shade, a barley beige, a trace of sable from the hare. A taste of what it made and what it meant. And beer, brewed with his warm, grainy hands was just a grand extension of the land. Sun tanned and malted bronze, the colours of the ground within his hand and he,

he always smelt of earthy browns, of moss, and stones that splashed with blood that day upon the yard - his hand, caught in the mowers blade. Then, every shade of crimson soaked the browns and stained the plantains iron green and kind Forget Me Nots congealed him in their baby blue, the bits of bone, the sinew. He slumped, all darks and greys, the hare, eyes wide and spattered from the salty dirt. A staunching rag of yellow roses torn, from off my mother’s skirt.

Before that damaged hand he loved to paint. He’d set his cap and fix his eyes upon the autumn leaves - enticing him with all their fiery blend and when his brush first dipped the coloured pans I would just smile, and hug my grubby knees. Try if you can, the trees would taunt and filter orange down his owl like hand quick, and capture now these ever-changing shades upon the land. A wilful work of art he always claimed. Hold still, he’d whisper back, the hare, a teasing wave of gold across the ground.


Image by Bree Anne
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