The Christmas chatter shudders slowly
to a halt. A fox has come out of the woods.
Like everything here, its core is granite.
It's only partly red. The rest is mange.
It looks at us and doesn't care;
sniffs through the neighbours' construction spoil
by the road with no streetlamps,
under the bare-treed sky.
Sinking nose into soil, it rummages briefly,
direct and to the point, emerging with a mole
the length of its head. In that moment,
the mole does not move. The fox
throws its head back, flips the mole
up a body length. It catches with open mouth.
It leaves again. There is no sound.
Jennifer A. McGowan’s latest pamphlet, Still Lives with Apocalypse, won the Prole Pamphlet Competition this year. She’s a professional calligrapher and illuminator, is disabled, and prefers the fifteenth century to the twenty-first.