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Shari Hemsley
I wrote my first poem when I was five years old. It included animals. My affinity for them was keen; I wanted to be with them, befriend them, and help them. I was painfully shy and barely spoke to people, but with animals…we shared a language. And so I pursued my dream, my purpose, of helping them by becoming a veterinary nurse.

My connection with Lydia’s illustration was immediate and deep. Memories of family Fair trips rushed in, and visiting the barns was always high on my list. When animals show their side eyes, they speak volumes. The words for the haiku were there, I just needed to tease them out.

Thank you for this creative opportunity. I am honored.

The finest forelock,
primping feathers, wool and fur;
side eyes on the prize

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