Monday, May 11, 2009


A fox came to my yard last night,
A black and russet ghost who slid
Around the garbage cans, between
The close-packed houses by the light
Of garish street lamps. There he hid
Some moments, then out on the clean
Crisp crusted snow he stole. He thrust
His black and russet muzzle through
And pulled a struggling morsel out.
Over the ice-thick winter crust
His black paws pranced as if he flew,
Tossing with black and russet snout
The hapless mice snatched from their world
Beneath the crusted roof of snow.
As he danced and killed and ate
A winter mist around him swirled.
A biting breeze began to blow
And mist and fox blew out the gate.

Last fall, deep in my tulip bed
Among the sleeping bulbs and bugs
I found a hand-forged horse-shoe nail,
A sharp obsidian arrow-head
And shards of some wood-fired clay jugs.
Perhaps here once there was a trail
(Where recently my house was built)
Where Hurons came to make their pots
And trade for goods from far away.
Perhaps on this site blood was spilt
And soldiers fled from cannon shots.
Years pass, and on this ancient clay
The people come, the people go,
Raise kids and crops and fight their wars;
And generations pass away,
While patiently the rivers flow,
The restless lake frets at its shores
And joyful foxes come to play.

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