Pastoral with Children and Foxes

Claire Wahmanholm

Children in

the wilderness, in the cornworks and pasturage and among young

birches thin as rib-bones.       O world held

in this thistle-packed ditch, this rough hatchery.      Bee-

stung children howl like foxes, wild at the mouth with

their own pitch.         A curtain of pollen shakes itself loose across

their lips, slips

away in a warble of vowels,     pulls

at the air.        The future is this

force. The future moans like flies from an unseen

source, worse

for its furry vagueness.     Moss-

kneed and shoeless, the children startle real

foxes from their dens and bend toward them,     lonesome.

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