Thursday Poem

Song of the Fox

Dear man with the accurate mafia
eyes and dog sidekicks, I’m tired of you,
the chase is no longer fun,
the dispute for this territory
of fences and hidden caverns
will never be won, let’s
leave each other alone.

I saw you as another god
I could play with in this
maze of leaves and lovely blood,
performing hieroglyphs for you
with my teeth and agile feet
and dead hens harmless and jolly
as corpses in a detective story
but you were serious,
you wore gloves and plodded,
you saw me as vermin,
a crook in a fur visor;
the fate you aim at me
is not light literature.

O, you misunderstand,
a game is not a law,
this dance is not a whim,
this kill is not a rival.

I crackle through your pastures,
I make no profit / like the sun
I burn and burn, this tongue
licks through your body also

by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood Selected Poems
Oxford University Press, 1976