by Christine Adams Beckett
A red fox, a tod,
Regarded her for a conscious-packed moment
Lasting longer than scientific truth.
He stood on a meticulously constructed stone wall,
That was frosted like a cake with snow,
Red fur burning a melted image
Of a contemplative being considering
A difficult moment.
Fight or flight. Or love?
The creature that stands before the animal
Has a drink in her hand,
A clear liquid that
Eerily takes the shape of
The transparent cylinder.
Perchance she will share it with him,
Who thirsts for water that flows
With movement, runs freely rather than
Solidifies in a frozen New England wood.
She has a look of delight on her face
As if creature’s presence is welcomed.
But she moves toward the window, a
Piece of solid air that to him offers no protection.
She is a mammal uncharacteristically
Mobile on two well developed
Hind legs. Flee!
He bounds toward the wood, dragging
A brush of a tail offering stability and balance
And warmth for the vixen and cubs that
Lie denned underground, a place
He will never reveal. From a distance,
The heavy trail of fur looks burdensome.
Curiosity, the lure of a brief connection
Implores him to stop for
An instant, to lift his front right
Paw, a gesture recognizable to
Anyone with a domestic dog.
A point, an explanation he makes
He is sure she can hear:
I am enchanted by you;
But I fear you.