The Fox

Charles Macfarlane

A fox came out of the corn today.
Driven by the clumsy roar of harvest,
He fled the dwindling barley.

Glowing red in the evening light, leaping the lanes of straw,
He would soon be gone;
And I thrilled yet dismayed so, for I longed to savour the sight of him before he vanished.

But, as if sensing my joy, he stopped, looked back,
And with such intentness
That I wondered if he knew of others still lurking in the corn.

Then suddenly, he was off once more ...
A blur of red fur on the yellow stubble,
And nearing the dry-stone-wall.

But again he stopped, and looked back.  At the combine, the tractor and trailer, and me.
Haughtily, or so it seemed to me: How dare we lay waste to his environment?  Disturb his peace?
And as if dismissing the madness of Man, he mounted the wall.

Yet from its crown again he looked back.
But even as I marvelled at his beauty, and envied him his gypsy freedom,
He was gone.

1981 (revised 1996)

Creative Commons Licence Copyright of this work is held by Charles Macfarlane, who licenses it under a Creative Commons Licence (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales)