by Mark Yakich

Once upon a time

there was a lonely fox; she was

lonelier than a wooden rowboat in a field.

She happened to come to a hill,

and fell in love with the first wolf she saw.

Already she loved its long lashes

and its freckled wrinkles,

but the eyes stopped her.

Apart from God nobody ever

found those eyes as beautiful

as did this child–like beast.

So at night the fox went up the hill,

stopped before the set of eyes,

and never moved from there any more.

She had wanted a life of chasing butterflies,

but instead stood by one mustard iris.

When, at last, the wolf opened its mouth

it was not to kiss the fox

but to let the world crawl in.