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Brilliant Light

Scrambling for a narrow ledge
the fox who’s free to roam
alone in silvered night
snow like brilliant beach sand
kicking back in drifts with bold
so piercing screams
his braggings startle me
from marking time by stanza.

He claims the deep freeze night
launching through a split rail
to a buried wooden headwall
he trots across the lake
its waters stilled to moon sheen
bared hollows where the snow’s been blown past frozen boats
like wagons with their white bales
across an empty cove.
His prey have fled to burrows
and his howls that stir the dreams
of huskies harken back.

Not diffident he ranges
rightful claimant, bantam
predator from an outpost
beneath a neighbor’s shed
a nightly circuit for his prowl
into a night’s pale shadows
high wire on his own slim wit

one deeper freeze, one misstep
judging ice all traces on the snow his fleeting glory could be gone. Reminded of this

wild card play, incessant chanting singing to the cheap seats, why
should this seem a shadow
on his dance bravado?

We arrive in each our hour
to be carried off on outbound
much the same we needy players
flitting past a dozing god
bare ripples on a lake.

His memory is but drying salt
a shadow left when one need
look away from brilliant light.