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FOXFIRE

A flame among spring's flowers,
A russet flash through summer's haze,
A spark aglow in autumn fields,
On brilliant snow, a sudden blaze.

~ nowhiners, 2/5/00

FOUR LITTLE FOXES

Speak gently, Spring, and make no sudden sound;
For in my windy valley, yesterday I found
New-born foxes squirming on the ground ~
Speak gently.

Walk gently, March; forbear the bitter blow;
Her feet within a trap, her blood upon the snow,
The four little foxes saw their mother go ~
Walk softly.

Go lightly, Spring; oh, give them no alarm;
When I covered them with boughs to shelter them from harm,
The thin blue foxes
suckled at my arm ~
Go lightly.

Step softly, March, with your rampant hurricane;
Nuzzling one another, and whimpering with pain,
The new little foxes are shivering in the rain ~

Step softly.

~ Lew Sarett

THREE FOXES BY THE EDGE OF THE FIELD AT TWILIGHT

One ran,
her nose to the ground,
a rusty shadow
neither hunting nor playing.
One stood; sat; lay down; stood again.
One never moved,
except to turn her head a little as we walked.

Finally we drew too close,
and they vanished.
The woods took them back as if they had never been.
I wish I had thought to put my face to the grass.
We kept on walking,
speaking as strangers do when becoming friends.

There is more and more I tell no one,
strangers nor loves.
This slips into the heart
without hurry, as if it had never been.
And yet, among the trees, something has changed.
Something looks back from the trees,
and knows me for who I am.

~ Jane Hirshfield

Copyright 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved. The Atlantic Monthly; June 1996; Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight; Volume 277, No. 6; page 98.


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