The Coming Of Fox

one evening i return
to a red fox
haunched by my door.
i am afraid
although she knows
no enemy comes here.
next night again
then next then next
she sits in her safe shadow
silent as my skin bleeds
into long bright flags
of fur.


from the terrible stories (BOA Editions, 1996). Copyright © 1996 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company on behalf of BOA Editions.