From: Material Goods

Maybe the woods aren't what they were. The mist
Purls in the sun rising on the butts and the empties.
The great foxhunt has left its radial wide-tracks,
A broken heel, a used rubber in a Sunbeam bag.

Still, some things are eternal. They still make traps
In the old style, rows of teeth on a steel trip-spring.
Spring! The teeth hit home in the fox's paw.
The fox still bleeds.

Maybe she doesn't know what she's getting into.
The instinct is as old as iron. She chews,
And doesn't realize till her own teeth try it
How hard it is to bite through a broken bone,
How tough a muscle is, the nausea
In a nostril bleeding backward every breath.

Still, what would you have her do? Quit now?
The tendon under the center pad is severed.
Two toes are gone, and they're gone in any case.
The blood is under her haunches. The sun is up.

Maybe this argument is a lot too cunning
To offer to a row of teeth on a rusty hinge.


© Janet Burroway. All Rights Reserved.