Suburban Foxes

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.)