Like the cherm or charm of finches, so the skulk of foxes

confounds the twilight. Step-sidling, their auburn pelts shift

into shadows. Like cats they stalk mice. Lanky legs turn black.

Vertically slit eyes catch last yellow sunlight and hold it steady.

Their lush tails follow them, bobbing guidons on patrol.

They den down the block, under the neighbor’s lumber shed.

Tomorrow they might turn into fancy stoles or tricksters.

They might turn into ragged coyotes and grin at gardeners.

They could be a skulk of thieves, crouched. Or malingerers.

Under mulberry shrubs they sense human presence. Pause.

Flicker into peripheral vision. Then softly scatter.

But never vacate.