Fox Miles

by Helen Mort

Fox Miles

Supple as a dream I can’t call back,

a vixen, in the hedgerow’s

matted black, is startled out

to skirt the dawn, and vanish with the dark –

her flame-bright tail extinguished

by the railings of the park. But first,

she bolts across an empty road

and keeps her pace with mine. I slow

to look at her across the gap. We run in time.


She turns her face. Her eyes flare

in the artificial light, and then

she finds a trapdoor in the night;

a corridor towards the sun that she

slinks down alone, and covers miles

she might mistake for home.

And what she sees she cannot tell,

but what she knows of distances,

and doesn’t say, I know as well.