A new poem for the change of seasons.
A small red fox climbed through
the bedroom window we’d opened
on the first cold day.
Comfy on our old grey sofa,
he watched TV,
his lush fur spread around him.
He was the color of sunset at Louse Point,
apparently as peaceful.
Till my return startled him, startled me.
He bounded out the same way he came in.
In our ebbing garden, I feel the changing air.
The honeysuckle trellis still clings to green.
The box turtles’ plump shells
peek above the wood chip mound,
webbed feet and sharp beaks hidden.
Heads buried in the pile of mulch
we built for winter hibernation,
theirs and ours.
Walking here under the sanctuary sky,
I am fox and box turtle.
Montauk daisies, honeysuckle.
I am seasons’ transmuting moods and colors,
the amber brown of barren fields
past corn harvest,
wan as winter snow.
All the world’s blues, all the reds.
I am the hue of honeysuckle in its first yellow bloom.
I am the mutability of rainbows,
the impossible pot of gold.
I have come upon a crossroad
where thick-trunked sycamores
stand in a line of complex weaving.
I choose the labyrinthine path,
and the way is chosen for me.
Russet leaves crunch under my boots.
My hands seek heat in my holey pockets.
What I am and what I am not
greets the gauzy haze that filters through the trees.
I splash my colors onto the world I touch—
the persistence of my shrinking flower,
brilliant instincts of my winter-averse turtle.
In the onset of evening shadows, I become
the determination of my warmth-seeking fox.