An act of healing


Go into the field and
bury your body of rage,

mouse-shaped and curled
in on itself, eyes closed.

Its claws were always
better suited for scurrying away

than fighting, velvet ears gloriously
trained to hear footsteps

outside your door:
danger danger danger.

Now, scrape away the soil, and lay
the tiny hurt to rest,

cover it in its new dress
of stones and mycorrhiza,

and say a prayer for the wild herbs
that will grow here,

spring roots reaching down
to taste it all:

the hot tears, the shaking,
the way every joy felt like revenge.


Joel LeBlanc is a queer writer, baker, chef, and herbalist. His poetry has previously appeared in Poetry NZ, Semaphore, takahē, Tarot, and more. He is currently living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington with his many cats, dogs, ducks, ghosts, house plants, and a cheeky husband.