(Every Home Should Have One)
He was a visitor we rarely saw
but signs that he had visited were there:
the well-worn path through nettles from the field;
a scat below bird feeders where he paused…
But he was only ever passing through –
our drive and garden, brief stops on his tour.
Audaciously, one July afternoon,
“As bold as brass,” “As if he owned the place”
he trotted passed the patio where we sat,
ignoring wide-eyed stares and sleeping cat.
One night he woke our neighbour from deep sleep
while trying to drag a can up concrete steps,
scared by sudden light, he turned and fled
abandoning the can and hidden mouse.
The children now would call him “Mr Fox” –
he got the blame when items disappeared;
one Easter, on the hunt, an egg was lost…
it turned up, half chewed, out across the field.
Hit by a speeding car on Forest Road,
the grizzled fox had crawled into a ditch;
out walking I had stumbled on this death
and knew, instinctively, this body’s his…
Thick nettles quickly closed the fox’s path –
it soon became as if he’d never been…
Although this happened many months ago,
today I found fresh fox prints in the snow.