The Foxes

They came like emissaries
from a fairy tale. In twilight, framed

by wisteria vines that burdened
the backyard’s powerlines, they dozed

like cats all summer. Awake,
they tussled up and down the honeysuckle,

still kits, all muzzle, light feet.
This was years after your friend

froze to death on the concrete staircase
outside his Florida apartment.

Years after you loaded your last
bomb. Years of desert deployments.

And now this house, its kind porch
and open rooms, the foxes we inherited.

Though eventually they too left,
and the sickness that follows us took root.

Wherever we go, these black blossoms.

Copyright © 2019 Kate Gaskin. This poem originally appeared in Poetry Northwest, Winter & Spring 2019. Used with permission of the author.