Sunday, December 25, 2016


A stoat in winter pelage guarding a mountain hare
carcass from a pair of least weasels

“...and soe is the shell gold, being dry and burnisht
with the small tooth of a weasel fastned into a stick.”
From "Miniatura; or, The art of limning,"
by Edward Norgate, c. 1627

The kit provides itself sharp edges, all erupting
from buds near time of first weaning, pushed
out, as baby teeth will be, when larger knives
replace its nursing set. Imagine a farmer, then,
who’d caught and killed a weasel, learning its
canine tooth, the dagger that bled his rabbits
dry, would burnish some great lord’s portrait.
And the wild creature, its joy in killing as pure
as shell gold, sold in pieces for its fur, for art.

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