Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015



Shari Kocher

  Dinner done, dishes draining, the fire
  a red glow in its dark box, I step outside
  beyond the porch light, the grass 
  stiff with frost in the home paddock,
  the night sky shelved but for the bright paw 
  and nose of the Dog Star chasing a hare 
  in the scudding dark, the almost 
  forgotten name of a flagship tossing 
  into view in a time before typhoid, 
  cholera and sweetened damper, the gorge
  rising in the dip where shots rang out 
  last night, our feral neighbour licensed to
  kill anything that moves, floodlit 
  and whooping just beyond our fence line, 
  which a deer can clear in a moment if only 
  she knew she’d be safe here, but what’s a fence 
  in a forest of stars? The cold eats fingertips
  and ankles. If I had flares, I would light them.
  Makes no sense how we got here. Makes
  perfect sense: a fox, right in front of me. 
  Three red paws on the ground, one white 
  lifted in mid-step, a thousand tiny 
  hairs aspark in the moonlight. 
  Breath a small vapour, electric.
  Eyes like river stones, that old language 
  of fire held high in the brush-stroked tail 
  pulsing between us, two feet of charged 
  ground sunk without sound in a heartbeat, 
  the mist made mystic at knee-height. 
  Foxstruck. Standing alone in a paddock 
  pouring electricity under a night sky 
  blinking cold atoms without answer, 
  blood quickening the slow burn of fox
  tricky as history, the fire before and after.