Now that Thanksgiving is gone, winter approaches, and here is my ode to it:
Freezing rain last night turning to sleet.
No newspaper, the cat wants out, not the dogs.
Birthday cake remnants slumped in the fridge.
That fox I saw lying dead by the roadside yesterday
Wasn’t one of our foxes--no foxes today in the glazed grasses
This side of the woods--or the fox I’ve seen for years prowling
The golf course, improving the round without a swing of the club.
It was another fox I didn’t know until it was too late for us both.
The cat lifts each paw carefully before setting it down;
It sniffs the chilly air skidding along the hillside.
Silver gray out there, uncertain. Could melt. Could harden.
She is more nose and ears than paws. The paws take care of themselves.
An orange dab, the marmalade cat, in touch with everything,
Her muscles liquid and springy, her eyes keen but
Unaware of me at the window with my coffee in hand,
Watching her, reading her.
My emissary slinks under the Honda and out into the open;
She backs against an ice-encased bush and relieves herself;
Our foxes have crossed the lawn last night and she knows it.
Their backs are thick, fluffy, indifferent to the rain and sleet, but
Their breath and skin stinks fox stink, wild prowling meat that eats other wild meat,
Chipmunks, squirrels, a bird if possible, a mole, a rabbit
With a quicker than quick pounce and gnashing, same prey as the cat, all of them
Welcoming the deadly backdrop of the freezing rain, making it easier to spot the kill.
Causes Robert Earle Supports
World Wildlife Fund