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A Message to the Foxes

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Fennec fox:
We were the neighborhood children;
travelers, warriors, wanderers, 
fae, heroes, fighters. 
You were sunshine; golden, warm, lighthearted,
as if you were the living morning.
I almost remember your laughter. 
We were littermates, the four of us,
straw-yellow and young,
too innocent for what was to come. 
You ran away on pitter-patter feet
and I miss you like I miss the hikes we took
when the leaves were falling all around us. 
Your jaws snapped shut around my little heart;
I think you were the first one to break it.
I know it was an accident,
but I healed slower the first few times. 

Arctic fox:
We grew up together, wild and young,
misunderstanding the way the world worked.
You were swift, running at something
you had to catch, snow-fur streaming
as I tried to keep up behind you. 
You were cold, always frigid, dark like winter,
so when any light shone through
I was whole. 
They didn’t trust you; your sharp face,
white paws, blizzard soul. 
But you and I, we could’ve grown old
in the frost-blanket fields, listening to owls cry
and watching stars blink above us. 
Then you taught me to hate only myself
and gave me my first taste of reality. 
At least I’m grateful for it.

Island fox:
I look up to you, you once-friend, 
the one with wise thoughts.
You were like me, but braver.
You were small, lithe,
chestnut brown and streaked with silver,
clever; someone who’s seen it all.
You were smart, wily, full of life and
we were explorers, out in the forest
where no one else could go.
We shared tree branches
and navigated the little creek, untamed and free. 
We promised under the hanging leaves
to be friends forever.
I didn’t know forever could be so small, and
I don’t know why you turned so human
and left me behind. I’m still here, as always. 

Red fox:
I didn’t think I was able to love until there was you. 
You were burning red-orange and hearth-fire
and I was warmed back to life 
after a long time feeling frozen. 
I was full of that fire, falling too far
into flocks of dragons and bright sunlight.
You were afraid to be alone; I was scared to be lonely. 
You were wild and exciting and trapped;
you wanted to escape 
and I was the only one there to leave behind.
I’m still full of that love you gave me;
flames, hopes, dreams 
for you, for all the other foxes around us. 
Now you’re gone, rust-colored fur fading from my mind,
and maybe the embers are dimming,
but I can’t seem to let them die. 

Grey fox: 
You might never grow up, find the freedom
you used to daydream of as the sun rose
over those weathered mountains.
Child, you’re shy, too wild to be contained.
I kept promising you that I couldn’t let it happen again,
that I wouldn’t try anymore, but then I did. 
It was still the same cycle of loving and loss,
and now you are empty.
I never meant to do this to you, to steal your joy away. 
Now you go through motions and 
I think you’ve forgotten how to love. 
You keep putting your little paws forward,
not stopping to sleep or save yourself.
Your soul is wearing thin these days,
you’re numb, green eyes weary and
Dull with greyscale thoughts, all hope gone.
It’s my fault. I’m sorry. 


Author's Note: This is a piece I posted on the old Slam, but since then I've reworked and improved it a bit. I was once given a writing prompt that suggested comparing your moment(s) of greatest pain to an animal... This is my rather modified result. 

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constantly confused

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I don’t have an in-depth response at this second of my borrowed time (read: stolen from midterm studying) but I love how you chose the fox out of all the creatures you could choose. I love your wording here, too, it really invokes that sense of calm reflection (and maybe regret? I feel almost like I’m a little kid being warned?). 

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