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the fox :: faith shearin

by on June 28, 2017

It was an ordinary morning: November, thin light,
and we paused over our pancakes to watch
something red move outside. Our house is on

an untamed patch of land and, across the lagoon,
another house surrounded by trees. On the banks
of their shore, facing us: a fox. We thought

he might be a dog at first for he trotted and sniffed
like a dog but when he turned to us
we knew he was nobody’s pet. His face was arranged

like a child’s face — playful, dainty — and his eyes
were liquid and wild. He stood for awhile, looking out,
as if he could see us in our pajamas, then found

a patch of sand beneath a tree and turned himself
into a circle of fur: his head tucked into his tail.
It was awful to watch him sleep: exposed,

tiny, his eyes closed. How can any animal
be safe enough to rest? But while I washed
our dishes he woke again, yawned, and ran

away to the places only foxes know. My God
I was tired of being a person. Even now his tail
gestures to me across the disapproving lagoon.

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