creative writing

Fox and Woman: A Diptych by Carolyn Moore

1     Woman

Knees bent into spring grass, lime-handled trowel turning soft black earth. Gloved hand dropping a seed here, a seedling there. This is what he sees even if he cannot say. She sees the other just as she is seen: a red fox trotting close by a woman turned from her digging. For a sparked second yellow eyes meet green, green looks into yellow.  I know, I know, I know. He speaks in silence with voice so clear. And keeps on moving. She hears a wildness inside herself, has a sudden need to lay down trowel, remove gloves, dig with bare fingers in soft black earth.

What caused her to turn to him? A breath in her ear, or some atavistic scent of which she is unaware? Her voice surprised, surprises him. Oh! 

2     Fox           

Oh!  An open gate and joy of soft new grass, a treed path I’ve  trodden before and there is the woman in the garden where I left her long ago when she was just a child and she said oh, I know you and the same blood ran through our hearts before Beatrix Potter and Aesop’s Fables dressed my kind in waistcoats, warned of sour grapes, before she learned the myths that called us bad omens, harbingers of danger and death even though we were also portents of good and givers of life well before things became either-or, before we became this or that she understood there was no other and how we could shift from one to another and back again and now I merely surprise her by my being here where once we were the same bones shed of fur, shed of skin. 

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