Quickening

by Erick Piller

 
In the yard, as I dug,
my shovel stopped on bone.
I paused and bent

to examine it, swept
aside loose soil.
It was yellow and thin.

Not a deer’s. Bent
awkwardly, as if once fractured. I dug
deeper, found another bone,

and another, and then—
there, below the surface, she slept
warmly in the soil—

a small fox, constellation of bone:
her grooved skull, bent
spine. Her dugs

recomposed, no longer soil
under the ribcage. Then
she woke. Rain swept

in from the forest. The fox dug
upward from her den, bone
turned flesh, bent

on surface. She swept
across solid ground, shedding soil
in her wake, quick, undying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erick Piller received an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College in 2012. His poems have appeared in TriQuarterly, DIAGRAM, H_NGM_N, Alice Blue, and elsewhere. He lives in Danielson, Connecticut.

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