The fox appears again in May

to eat ground squirrels,

tail fuller than last year,

fur strong with winter


I’ve watched for it since December

but only spotted its tracks in the snow

Now here it is on the hill

looking down at me

with the eyes of an old man

I must have known as a boy


It lifts its ears unflinchingly

to listen


I tell how I lived my life all wrong,

can’t go back to set things right,

how I wake to a face

I no longer want to see,

all chances gone,

only so many days left

to dream something


I tell the fox

how I disappointed my children,

how I didn’t know

what to do or how to say

what I did know,

how I found excuses

for my fears


I tell the fox

I wanted a different voice,

unimpeachable words

they would want to recall



I shout after its tail as it leaps

over the crest of the meadow,

“Hey you! Yes, you!

Wait up!  Listen!

Once, I too was cunning

and my teeth were sharp!”