Was it Christmas day?
When we saw the fox
running through the snow?
And, was there one fox or two?
It was a long time ago and
I do not remember everything,
but it was at least near Christmas.
The snow that fell the night before
was deep for our neighborhood.
My ten-year old son and I walked
past the end of our blacktop street,
into a rough patch of grown-over farm land,
past the burned-out house
with the sinister skull and crossbones sign.
We hoped to find some charred boards there
to help make a tree house.
It was then, for the first and last time,
we saw the fox,
half a field beyond us,
slim, wiry, tawny red, fast,
nose to the wind,
high stepping through the deep snow.
Did he sense that he was seen?
That he would be famous?
That the ground where he prowled
would some day be named for him?
And, if he had known, would it
have mattered one whisker