I do not believe in the fox that comes
stealing between the close-knit pines,
he is perfection, and, as such, beyond me;
he comes, nonetheless, at nightfall, quiet,
all but silent, quiet as
spiritus in the pines, say, or this moonrise,
comes through the cooling grass, the garden,
bows or assumes his hunting posture
in going past our statue of St. Francis,
poor Francis, with both hands extended,
the right to bless, the left to beg,
the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away ...
I am picking wild strawberries when he comes,
my fingertips and lips incarnadine,
the taste already fading on my tongue.
(c) 1996 by Bill Coyle; first
printed in Literature and
Belief; used by permission
of the author.