The winter sun, bright as a Rainier cherry,
abruptly turned to lead
and, as I strode down Thornton Street,
up ahead, a cat-like creature sped
into the road. No, larger than a cat,
its reddish tint and snout
as pointed as a bayonet
said fox! But there were two. Rushing about
with muzzles near the ground, they seemed intent
on tracking some faint whiff
no human can discern. A truck
reduced its speed, the pair a jazzy riff
amid the monotone of suburb life.
One heard my footfalls, tore
along the walk, and vanished round
a bend—as if escaping from a war.
Its partner flew the opposite way. They
no doubt were mates, now parted
like us. But they would reunite,
fusing their fiery fur, not broken-hearted.
Out in broad daylight, surely they were famished,
each one a sly pursuer
of rabbits, squirrels, mice, and trash,
yet spritely and as beautiful as you were.
(Appeared in Snakeskin.)