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THE FOX

My soul is a fox with a hen in its maw
And the tingle of blood in its tooth and its claw
That slips through the curtain of half-conscious dawns,
Its ears always pricked for the hounds and the horns
Of its past and its future, its life and its death,
With the kill in its mouth and the shriek on its breath,
Into mornings of calm, when there’s nothing to hear
And the air is quite still, and the sky is quite clear,
And the prey is at peace, and the fox in its den
That has lived one more day in this strange world of men.

By Jonathan Steffen

First published in ‘The Spectator’, 21 April 2018

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