Saturday, 16 October 2010

Poem of the Week: 'The Phone-Fox' by Christopher Reid

'The Phone-Fox'
Christopher Reid

We were talking about Ted Hughes,
          when the corner of my eye
twitched to the fact of a fox
         on the flat, tar-papered roof
of the chapel-of-rest next door.
         What a moment to choose!
I watched it as it spelt itself out
        from shadows of the far-side garden
into clear sunlight,
        at which point I gave a shout
which must have sounded crazy.
        Then it trotted about,
inspecting different views.
        And then it did a quick jig
once around itself,
        lay down, extended its forepaws
And cocked its muzzle for a big,
       tasty, air-licking yawn.
Unbiddable, unbidden,
        this was a genuine fox
Of the Inner London variety,
        now enjoying its own society
on top of the squat brick box
        where they bring the newly dead.
Accident or sign,
       I was sorry nothing I said
could make it real for you
        at your end of the line.

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