I could not swear to it, I did not see it move,
But then a fox can freeze into the land,
Stand inordinately still, fix its sly, bright eye
Steadfastly on the watcher, turning watcher into watched.
Was it a trick of light? A fallen branch suggesting fox?
Nonetheless I thought it fox, so stood and waited, waiting
Till I grew so cold my feet took root in the numb earth.
I had not moved, and it occurred to me the fox might
Ask itself the same question: was I perhaps a trick of light,
A motionless tree, a statue blending silently
Into the woodland’s edge on which I stood?
For there was no wind in the freezing air to carry scent.
I tired first: unable to endure more cold I heaved
My icy feet from the ground that held them petrified,
Looking down to do so. When I looked up again the fox –
I said it was fox, knew it was fox – had gone