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.