..... poetry .....



"A Circus In The Woods"

I've been told that they don't stay for long,
   I didn't care.
I've been told that the Mom can get very, 
   very protective

   I didn't care. 
I've been told that they smell funny
   I didn't care.
A family of five grey foxes moved in next door —
   a Mom and four young kits with no Dad in sight —  
   atop an abandoned work shed.
Their eyes beaming in the night,
   silent and watching, 
   except for the menacing sounds from Mom. 
During the day, 
    one of the kits showed off their omnidirectional tree climbing, 
    fully aware that I was watching from my deck, 
    as if to say,
    “We've been doing this for millions of years,
    before you humans could even walk.”

Yes, I was amused, nothing more.  

A week later, 
   an abandoned trailer just a few feet from my dwelling 
   became their preferred clubhouse. 
On my way home late at night, 
   I would spot them lounging in that broken doorway
   like contented pets waiting for their owner to return, 
   their oval eyes and bushy tails creating a kind of vertigo of species
   part dog, part cat, part trickster,
   truly a kindred nocturnal spirit.    

Yes, I was amused, but now curious.  

   they came out for a playdate on a pile of fallen logs
   in my backyard.
Amused?  No.  Spellbound?  YES! 
   Unable to look away,
   it was as if Walt Disney had drugged me in my sleep 
   and tied me up in his personal theater,
   only it was Real.  

Their circus ran for two consecutive days,
   and I had front row balcony seats from my comfy bedroom loft.
It consisted of Mom resting after putting out her daily rodent kill
   while the kits alternately 
   squirmed and rested,
   playing hide and seek, 
   forming and dissolving alliances,
   and fighting off bugs and ticks like convulsing modern dancers
   with too much caffeine.  
On the third day
   a young kit visited my deck and just stood there,
   as if to say, 
   “Did we pass the audition?”
Probably the same one who devoured a whole rat
   below my window while thinking, 
   “I know you're watching, 
   and you know, 
   I also eat berries for breakfast.
   Please tell my Mom I'm getting the hang of this…

   they left, 
   probably to entertain some other gullible ex-city dweller
   who's a sucker for a pretty face and a bushy tail.
Whenever I put on a pair of grey socks, 
   boxers, or pants,
   I just smile, 
   and think about my Circus In The Woods.

July 2018 




©2018, Michael Smolens