The Fox by Kate Rogers

Poem title: The Fox
Poet name: Kate Rogers
Poem: She is waiting, bottom of the steps,
back door, 4:30 this dark, rainy morning.
My pajamas cling to my legs, wet
from brushing against ferns 
on the path from the sleeping cabin. 
Her huge ears pricked 
in the light from my phone,
her eyes glittering like mica
in the quartz and granite 
shore. She crouches on her belly
against the damp ground. 
The wildflowers my sister and I seeded
in May needed this soaking, but the fox,
her patchy coat hangs from her bones
like a vintage store mink. 
As she waits, head on paws,
her cowed need follows me 
into my mother’s kitchen. 
I open the humming fridge, crack three 
cold eggs into a paper bowl, 
go out the door to the slippery deck, 
descend the steps. 
The slick of eggs sways, 
viscous as motor boat oil on the lake.
The fox creeps to the bowl and laps.
Licks her lips. I am grateful and know
I’m satisfying my yearning for the days
my family paddled into this place,
before the gravel road, the bulldozed trees
flanking its scar. Yesterday, as I strode
the road through the hills I saw 
a downed yellow birch
growing sideways, crown bright green.
Its bark was old gold—tarnished—yes.
But still gleaming.
End of poem. 
Credits and bio: Copyright © Kate Rogers

Kate Rogers’ (she/her) poetry recently appeared in the “Neighbours” issue of subTerrain, The Windsor Review and the following anthologies: Looking Back at Hong Kong (CUHK Press), The Beauty of Being Elsewhere and Dove Tails: Letters from the Self to the World, the 10th Anniversary Writing for Peace Anthology. Her next poetry collection, The Meaning of Leaving, is forthcoming with the Montreal-based publisher, Ace of Swords, in early 2024.