I open my eyes and see the start of a sunrise.
My den is cozy and warm. It shields me from the rising cold.
I get out and shake my ruffled fur—matted dust comes out,
and my tail becomes like a fluffed brush.
Trotting along the snowy grass I sniff out my meal,
all hiding restless or running for cover.
I close in on my prey. The rat is unaware of my presence.
I feel lucky so I leap and swoosh: I catch him. I carefully look
around, searching for any danger. I drop the rat and breathe
in deeply, looking at the dull but clear sky.
I eat my fill, and then I notice the change in season,
and the long wait for summer to begin has come.
Chasing a few fellow resident foxes I play
and shine, my fiery orange coat replenishing my healthy look.
I say my goodbyes and leave them be, gracefully dodging logs
and fallen trees. I find my den. I look up again in contrast.
It’s a sunset and some stars have come out.
I look one last time, then retreat to my cozy den.
photo: Early Play by Keith R. Crowley (lodgetrail.com), titled after Alyssea’s poem. Image used with permission.