Driving to Dwight

Before I could get to the place where I saw it,
the young fox was gone, having looked up
from whatever it had found on the road
and was playing with, cricket or field mouse.
It had seen my car coming and scampered off
into the long grass of the ditch. Four things
were gone in that instant: first, the fox;
then its playfulness, too, seeing it dance
on the gravel, batting at whatever it found
with a paw; and third, whatever it found,
so small it too had disappeared; and last,
was that featureless vent in the grass
that had opened for these, then had closed,
disappearing into its greens. The fifth thing
wasn’t gone: my delight, to come upon
something like this for the very first time,
so far into my years, my car slowing down,
me peering out into the world, hoping to
see it again. That joy hadn’t scampered away
after the others. I caught it and carried it
this far, smoothing its fur, almost too happy
with having it happen to share it with you.

Gray Upon Gray

Just the dry husk of a big farmhouse
far back from the highway, one of those
foursquare, four bedroom, hipped roof
houses as common as hay bales, part of
a thick stand of young and old trees,
like a box in a gray wicker basket
pushed to the back of a shelf, not one
track up the snowy lane, all of the glass
shot out but the shadows not pouring
over the windowsills onto the snow,
the front door left open, the entryway
dusty and black, like tar on a tree
where a branch tore away, a whole branch
of the Sundermans, Muellers, or Grays.