{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Joshua Mehigan

is the author of The Optimist (Ohio University Press, 2004), one of five finalists for a 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.

Among his credits are Poetry, The New York Times, and The New Republic.

He lives with his wife, Talia Neffson, in Brooklyn, New York, where he works as a teaching fellow at Brooklyn College.

He is the recipient of a 2011 NEA Fellowship.

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Rabbit’s Foot

Grandfather rabbit, and grandfather hare,
forgive us, your forgetful progeny,
who unleash dogs to shake you in their jaws,
then sell your hacked-off hands as souvenirs.
Forgive us. Our hearts, too, are very little,
and race with blood as tenuous as our fate:
We also tremble helplessly or flee.
But, with this relic of your ancient luck,
so may we also often procreate,
and burrow always toward the mystery
below, as our grandfather rabbit does.
And may our naked children, as yours do,
grandfather hare, drop always open-eyed
onto the sunlit meadow of despair.


[Originally published in The Optimist (Ohio University Press, 2004).]

[Link to YouTube video of Joshua Mehigan reading this poem at Carmine Street Metrics.]