By Ted Kooser
Featured art: Fox by Emi Olin
I saw a red fox stepping in and out
of the shadows of tall granite stones
in a cemetery’s oldest section, fur
flaring as she entered each patch
of sun, though her feet and the tip
of her tail were too darkened by dew
to be set alight. She was quite small
but in her presence the stones forgot
their names. Above her the canopy
was respectfully opening oak by oak
to light her way, though she offered
no sign that she expected any less.
I couldn’t move for fear she’d stop
and fix me with those eyes that had
already stopped everything there,
the headstones, the plastic flowers,
I, too, now breathless as I watched
her pass along that long, long hall,
a flame reflected in its many doors.
Ted Kooser’s most recent collection of poems is Red Stilts, from Copper Canyon Press, 2019, and he and Connie Wanek have a collaborative children’s book scheduled for 2022 from Candlewick Press.
Artist’s Instagram: @abieto.art