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Jane Satterfield: Fox

First stars in a milky sky, fog

sifting branches and the fox

is interloper, is fur of russet

and iron, is light-footed, is real

in my alley—no emblem trickster

or guide, vision appearing at no one’s

command, only to vanish through

some ragged hedge, flicking that full tail

the hunter calls “brush.”

    Distant as dreamland

that long-gone afternoon

where I watched costumed riders

stream by, crops held firm in hand.

In lore, in legend, and in hunt practice,

initiates were marked when the quarry

was caught, their foreheads smeared

in the ceremony of blood. Stashed in a cupboard

somewhere, the china tea mug I was given,

its inked tableau of horse and hound

a hand-held pageant of staged artistry,

raw impulse brought inside.


of shrinking spaces, you come nearer,

weaving your way past digging machines

and dog parks, to extend an empire

among us, alert and unleashed,

traveling through

twin kingdoms of dusk and dawn.



First appeared in NELLE.

Copyright 2021 Jane Satterfield

Jane Satterfield’s many books include Apocalypse Mix, winner of the 2016 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She teaches at University of Maryland Loyola.

Red Fox (Photo: Medicine River Wildlife Center)

5 comments on “Jane Satterfield: Fox

  1. Sean Sexton
    December 11, 2021

    Very fine! Calls to mind a great Fox Hunt poem by Ted Hughes in Moortown Diary published about 20 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Zimmerman
    December 8, 2021

    A beautiful fox poem, and so much more💔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    December 6, 2021

    So sad how humans kill for ego

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2021 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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