The Fox - Shauna Shiff

The streets are smothered
by night. Only a porch light
here and there burns on.

With timid steps
he steals into the yard.
Memories tell him
that he is unwanted.
Neither he, nor his children,
nor his children’s children
are free to roll
in the grass
shorn short of clover.
Now he pauses
to lift his narrow head,
sniff the starless air.
He is alone.
There is no audience
to watch him
stretch his rusty length,
releasing the tight snail’s coil
that cramped his body
deep in his den.
The fox leaps,
wild with joy,
a ballerina unspooling
into an arc
of long
scissored legs.

not being welcome
to walk in the sun.

Shauna Shiff is an English teacher in Virginia, a mother, wife and textiles artist.  Her poems and short stories can be found in Stoneboat Literary JournalAtticus Review, Cold Mountain Review, Rock Salt Journal, Cola and upcoming in others. In 2022, she was nominated for Best of the Net.