In Memorium & Gratitude ~ Gorgeous Poet Lucille Clifton

Ms. Clifton died Saturday, February 13 at the age of 73. Her work, her work, her work. It has left a mark on me. And I am grateful for what she's given me, and the world. May she haunt us joyfully. This work below, is hers.

Dream of Foxes

fox

who
can blame her for hunkering
into the doorwells at night,
the only blaze in the dark
the brush of her hopeful tail,
the only starlight
her little bared teeth?
and when she is not satisfied
who can blame her for refusing to leave,
Master Of The Hunt, why am i
not feeding, not being fed?

the coming of fox

one evening i return
to a red fox
haunched by my door.

i am afraid

although she knows
no enemy comes here.

next night again
then next then next
she sits in her safe shadow
silent as my skin bleeds
into long bright flags
of fur.

dear fox

it is not my habit
to squat in the hungry desert
fingering stones, begging them
to heal, not me but the dry morninngs
and bitter nights.
it is not your habit
to watch, none of this
is ours, sister fox.
tell yourself that anytime now
we will rise and walk away
from somebody else's life.
any time.

leaving fox

so many fuckless days and nights
only the solitary fox
watching my window light
barks her compassion.
i move away from her eyes.
from the pitying brush
of her tail
to a new place and check
for signs. so far
i am the only animal.
i will keep the door unlocked
until something human comes.

one year later

what if,
then,
entering my room,
brushing against the shadows,
lapping them into rust,
her soft paw extended,
she had called me out?
what if,
then,
i had reared up baying,
and followed her off
into vixen country?
what then of the moon,
the room, the bed, the poetry
of regret?

a dream of foxes

in the dream of foxes
there is a field
and a procession of women
clean as good children
no hollow in the world
surrounded by dogs
no fur clumped bloody
on the ground
only a lovely time
of honest women stepping
without fear or guilt or shame
safe through the generous fields.

  fox photograph by Leland Rucker

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