On evenings I prepare the fox’s supper
on a round plastic amber dish
I spotted him on one balmy summer
large orange head peering through dewy mist.
I leave the remains of rosemary and chicken
layered with strawberry jam on bread,
waiting for the rustle of grass and snapping tin,
those night eyes painted in leering red.
Every night I left remains for my stranger
until one evening I didn’t hear his screeching cough,
I heard no passive entrance from our midnight wailer
no sighting of my neighbourly fox.
Just the fat tom cat from number forty-two
helping himself to the fox’s chicken stash,
floating in pickled rain half chewed
scared off by the sirens and the curfew flash.
When the evening tired and slept
the fox returned to the stillness of the night,
leaving a damp feather at my doorstep
among the mossy snail cases in yellow and white.
MJ Duggan hosts AN EVENING OF SPOKEN INDULGENCE every month at the Hydra Bookshop in Bristol, UK, and his first collection of poems, Making Adjustments for Life Expectancy, was published this year. His poems have also been published by Sarasvati, Roundyhouse, Decanto, The Delinquent, Seventh Quarry, Turbulence and many more. You can follow MJ Duggan on Twitter.