telling our stories

the fox came every evening to my door

asking for nothing. my fear

trapped me inside, hoping to dismiss her

but she sat till morning, waiting.

at dawn we would, each of us,

rise from our haunches, look through the glass

then walk away.

did she gather her village around her

and sing of the hairless moon face,

the trembling snout, the ignorant eyes?

child, I tell you now it was not

the animal blood I was hiding from,

it was the poet in her, the poet and

the terrible stories she could tell.

–Lucille Clifton