Dark, and headed to what I then called

my apartment, I barely noticed

a flicker of movement,

and tip-toed my brakes,

staring face-to-face with a surprised fox.

I had just spoken to my father’s girlfriend,

at the time, and was deciding if I

should run, or stay with a man

who tampered with my birth control,

and locked himself in a room

filled with my possessions,

to keep me his.

I’m not sure what transpired in the 

thirty seconds fox and I held gaze,

soul meeting soul,

but when it decidedly turned 

to slip into the brush,

I realized what I would do.

Grey muzzle, and a dark stripe

down its back, a tint of

dusty orange, and yellow eyes,

I wasn’t even sure what

I was looking at, at first.

And when I needed to move

from my toxic in-laws,

vulpes vulpes blazed across

the field between our house and 

the woods behind it,

a red-orange comet telling

me to make my own way.

Again, after my baby, 

my three-day-old daughter

died in my arms, 

within six months I was pregnant

with her sister, and afraid

of suffering the same fate.

Days before delivery, a grey

fox darted in front of me,

and somehow I knew that

everything would be okay.

So, when I saw the silhouette, 

creeping through the unlit parts

on campus, after a free lecture

I attended,

I paused. I waited. 

The animal looked at me, eyes lit 

eerily, look of wild magic 

and ancient knowing,

filled with more questions than my own

mouth could think to breathe,

it stilled my heart.

It was right after someone I love

had shut the door on me,

and my care. Was it strength, 

or curiosity that held its gaze 

to mine?

Now, I have accepted my own feelings,

and have slowly begun to mend,

but just yesterday, I saw again

my trickster of a friend,

who didn’t even pause to look back.

Each spotting seemed so significant,

a connection of spirit, animal within,

and I put reason aside on belief 

that held a message for me,

every meeting.

There is no affirmation in 

its sighting, no answer in his

lanky gait, nor knowing stare

to pierce my heart and make me

decide at that moment.

Perhaps I must wait to meet

my advisor again,

or perhaps this time, it wants me

to figure it out for myself.