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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.


Bill Coyle



(c) 1996 by Bill Coyle; first printed in Literature and

Belief; used by permission of the author.

Background by
Neferchichi's Tomb

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