as he trots through clover

the fox slumped in a halfhearted semicircle of patchy fur
once blazing red now limp orange juxtaposed with exposed pink skin.
he gummed at his paws, teeth long since lost in the woods.

the sun came and went day and night.
he kept himself well shaded beneath the earth
and his eyes adjusted to see the dark.

he forgot how to run and hunt.

he did not, however, forget hunger
and she urged him to the surface.

clover parted ‘round him
and he laughed to himself
picturing this broken fox as royalty

and the scent caught him
eyes narrowed and body taut        how did this happen where has this been
a coiled spring to explode             he has teeth again his mouth is bleeding
blood and life and the miracle       bursting through his gums, sharp, white
of instinct                                        his fur blazing red again in the sun
that cannot be forgotten.               a rabbit snapped between his jaws
       hi                                                 as he trots through clover.

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