Mary Toft knew how it felt with child –
three birthed, one dead – but in the field,
heavy with her fourth, up starts a hare.
The effect is more than Mary can bear:
the rabbit all day long ran in my head.
That August, a large lump of flesh bled
from her body, and by October: rabbits,
litters of them, enough for every Cabinet
of Wonder in London. But was it fair or fake?
Methought they there a burrow tried to make.
Mary, Mother Incarnate, carny
of the most marvelous yarn –
the rabbits all day long ran in my head –
snared hare, lapful of lapins bred
in her Welsh rarebit, follicular,
cuniculous, mad with rabbit fever,
rabid with fervor to birth, quaint
trickster, canny coney, cunning cunt.

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HEIDI CZERWIEC is a poet and essayist, the author of four chapbooks, the recently-released full-length poetry collection Conjoining with Sable Books, and of the forthcoming lyric essay collection Fluid States, winner of Pleiades Press’ 2018 Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose, and is the editor of North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets (NDSU Press). Recent work appears in Signal Mountain Review, Fourth River, Under the Gum Tree, and Nonbinary Review, and in the anthologies Nasty Women Poets and New Poetry from the Midwest. She holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro and a PhD from the University of Utah, and was a professor for twelve years before absconding to Minneapolis, where she is an Editor for Poetry City, USA and for Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and mentors with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Visit her at heidiczerwiec.com or on Twitter @HeidiCzerwiec.

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