fox

I’ve yet to see one here, though many
deep holes have I dodged, each
a sniff-fest for my dog

ever hopeful of catching the prey
just out of reach – the squirrel
jabbering from up-trunk branch,

the bunny hopped between stones
too slender for a snout; the woodchuck
visible only through a screendoor

both shy and safe in the distance he keeps.
So today, when her attention was caught,
then mine, my first thought settled

on possible fox, its profile in shade
so like her own – slender, still
and reddish-brown — ‘til it lifted

its head, turned white tail and leapt
to its mother’s side, her alarm
already bounding them through trees

beyond the walled stone my dog
now demanded to cross, the scent
of chase no contest with me. I held on,

spoke firm words of ‘let them be,’
a collision of worlds familiar to me
as steward of both the seen, and not.

swb

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