The Late Foxes



Blue veins of sky 
Nourish the china clouds. 
Evening is so far away and empty, 
The fields are subdued 
And hand out silence. 

Only  white, informative flowers 
Pulling a skin of light upon themselves, 
Catch on a shred of evening 
And drag her dull blue hood across the fields. 

Now they come. Like orange ghosts 
Barely parting the air. The wind of a paw, 
A whistle of leaves. 
The hedge is pregnant with orange shapes 
That walk like water. 

Fox breath peels off in a rind of fear. 
Everything they see is an emergency. 
Our own two sullen shapes 
Are radar squeaking across the fields. 
And we are lucid with danger. 

Hold. They stand in a last spadeful of light. 
Suddenly red and present. Still as a tomb. 
Noses cocked to the air. Then they are not. 
A helter-skelter of dark shapes 
Bumbling across the fields. 

And we are left, time spilling about us. 
The hedges catching dribbles of early moon. 
We are late foxes now 
Creeping about our business on a surly night. 



(First published in Grand Street)