Fox (A Christmas Poem)


(Christmas 1983)

A creature fresh from fairy tales and fables

European as snow and firs,

it stands stock still,

pivots motionless on one paw,

rotates around a still point.

Beyond, the bay a lightless plain,

wind sifting through desolate pines.

Familiar silhouette it flashes away,

last suburban outlaw, to loot litter

from the brick houses in neat rows,

evergreens pointed and firm

and mowed around.

On mantelpieces images of Christmas;

snow and single stars and holly,

Brueghel‘s vision counterfeited weakly.

And outside a single fox,

ears bristling,

slips from my lights

into the fast paddocks

that are dark and rich with rabbits

[from my collection: Lost Things and Other Poems]


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