The Fox


A poem by Madhuri.


Confidence man,
card-sharp, trickster –
snout long, and clean
with wildness –
There you sit on the lawn in the evening
auburn as a petted woman,
ears tall triangles, soft with
eyes bright as a dolphin’s,
and watchful
as something that lives on the flanks
of a warm volcano –
Oh fox
gazing at us in our borrowed chalet –

In the mornings, our shoes chewed, our fridging
soup stolen, pot tipped on its side
way up the hill like a drunkard
fallen on his way home –

Brisk fox, next night there you are again
sitting out there on the dimming green –
last light in that rich-girl’s fur
ruddy as something murmured-over.
And oh, oh, your tail
royal train, plush, blooming
– spread out behind you like an acreage
of bliss,
fat, your grace and patrimony,
we naked thieves can only
long for –
We naked, cold, leggy monsters
like insects on the moon

pining for a tail we’ll never have
(for a tail stolen
dies to a dull fish-scale
when the light is gone
from the wilding’s eyes -)

Oh yea, fox, you own
so much
dark fragrances…
we can never touch –

(West Yorkshire, 2021, remembering Swiss Alps, 2004… and my brother Rudra, who was also there.)


Madhuri is a healer, artist, poet and author of several books, Mistakes on the Path being her latest memoir.

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