Bio Note: I live in rural Wisconsin where I teach English to Hmong, Swahili, Spanish and Urdu speakers. I train for races from the 5K to the full marathon distance and often work out word arrangements in my head as I log miles in the below zero wind chills and humid summer air. I'm grateful my poems and essays have been published in journals such as Natural Bridge, Blood and Thunder and AJN.
Hope Is the Vixen Fox
raising five kits in the wooded corner of our five acre parcel late April—I stare out the window over the sink, the citrus soap promising something pure as we shelter in place. A rolling fog smokes the green grass. The vixen glides her grizzled gray between orchard and rock wall border. I worry over my daughter as she works her graveyard shifts with patients testing positive. She carries her early conception deep under scrubs and layers of protection. The fox strides with some limp mammal snug between her teeth—tail tipped black She will feed first, then suckle her kits. I am dumbstruck by her wild grace— starving for the necessary hunger I felt as I learned to latch my first, offering milk for each perceived need, craving burnt toast spread with sour jam in the witching hours when I paced the house, cajoling her to sleep. The fox and her kits flaunt their thriving only to me — I conceal their den even to my husband, leave offerings of cracked eggs and apple peels on the worn grass path. I study the rodent bones outside her tunneled dirt door—skulls and mandibles marked with her teeth. I hope for her whelping blessing to reach my daughter as she works.
Originally published in Calyx 2020
©2022 Jenna Rindo
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