Self Portrait as Quarry

It is difficult to walk in a skirt
   made of prey,
it is difficult to be dignified
when the deer’s broken leg points skyward,
at my hips all these ungulates
   that tiptoe through life,
   all the fowl that flop
against my thighs and down
   my down below with soft and warmth.
  
Because the blue and brown spears
of a pheasant’s tail multiplied
have a martial air,
  
and there are hooves and horns
   and the occasional warning thrust
of the tusk,
I might seem a woman
whose procession through this nation
of carnivores
is assured—
  
but the scent of my delicious
vulnerability curls off my legs and perfumes
my coiled red hair
marks me hunted and ever a ward,
dependent on man’s better
   ambitions, to keep me safe
from the weakness I walk in.
Tender Trapper
Rebecca Hazelton
Hazelton_cover

Tender Trapper

Rebecca Hazelton

Floating Wolf Quarterly Cover_wolf