January morning, cloudy and mild,
in Galway, Ireland: a red fox crosses
the yard.  Not a cat, not with that brushy tail
and pointed nose, white muzzle I see
when he stops and looks straight
at me.  He can’t know I’m at the window,
but he stares, waits, then turns, trots
along the hedge, red against the green,
turns again, crosses the road and
                        He looks at me but
doesn’t call, unlike that other fox
who stood under my father’s window,
a continent and two decades away,
who stood, feet planted, tail low, at dawn,
the day we buried my father. That red fox,
who couldn’t know, that red fox looked at me
and keened. 
                          How spirits slip past us,
take stock on their way to enter earth,
how they lodge in our breaths.