by Margaux Novak

Winter comes
snow or no snow.
I want to understand warmth—
how foxes nuzzle.
I see winter lurking in the branched
rusty shadows. I need to know this fox,
the one in a lonesome field, need to
plant fox-hiding plants
orange tipped and thick.
I want him to teach me to cover over
traipsing paw prints, teach me
how to protect myself on prowls.

His nose wet inquisitiveness
as he calls me in the evening
dusk guides me onward.
Together we will haunt outskirts
of bonfires. Here I will learn to read
his underbrush eyes clothed in cold.
After I abandon my life—become his
wild familiar, I will lie beside him,
check his fur for foxburrs, and
soothe him through his moon howls.
Together we will face the night, sleep
until the world clears up and knows itself.


[Check out Margaux’s back porch wisdom]