Fox - The Second Phase

Darkness falls early these November nights,
But as I close my gate I see him plain as day;
Just beyond my reach he pads softly in the road betwixt
one forage and another,
Trotting across my line of sight like a stray dog,
Yet unmistakably not so.

Fox:

Here boy: tch, tch, tch, tch, tch.

He casts a suspicious glance my way before
turning about face
and making for my neighbourís front garden.

Here boy: tch, tch, tch, tch, tch.

No dice, heís having none of it,
But where twenty years ago heíd have run off
Like a wild one,
Tonight he merely keeps me at armís length,
Like any weary lurcher.

Centuries of encroachment on,
and destruction of his natural habitat
have at last forced him to show himself,
But now itís done he doesnít give a damn,
Besides, there are spoils to be taken in the city.

Itís probably him and not those confounded cats who
keep ripping our rubbish bags to shreds, scattering
paper, rotting fruit, and bits of meat
all over the front path.

Heís in and out of the dustbin in a second,
Sensing at once: Nothing here for me.

Or is him a her? Now I see the animal so close up
itís smaller than Iíd once imagined.

Fox:

Here boy: tch, tch, tch, tch, tch.

Pity he wouldnít respond to me though,
But one day in the not-too-distant-future
Iíll call him and heíll come;
Iíll throw him scraps from my table,
Stroke his fur like a dog,
Even teach him to retrieve a stick.
Heís already lost his fear of humankind,
Now all he has to lose is his contempt.

[The above was first published in Wrong Side Of The River].

Back To Poetry Index