There is a ruddy fox outside my doorstep.
In her fox-fur, she yelps, her bleak, oval mouth
digging into the powdered snow. Shyly, she finds
a cricket ball and holds it up on her nose.
There is a squirrel's nest stuffed between my window grill
and the hard glass. The mother has gathered green twigs,
leaves, bark, and soft moss from even beneath the milk-tundra
to bed her babies when they are formed.
There is a snow bunting who comes for
spiders and flower-grass from my patio. I leave her
warm water on the bird bath, she flies low even when
I'm working the wood—there is no fear.
She leaves with a silent nod,
a bob of the head, a demonstration of gratitude to the ruddy fox
nestled in a duvet cover in a dogshed beside the bird bath,
now silent and slow, eyes narrowed in near-sleep,
mistaken, once again, for the lessor of a fair winterhouse
of flax and sunflower chip.