Tomorrow

Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.


Tomorrow

Again the gray fox
scratches at my door,
a week now with gray
paw, insistently while
I watch at the window
admiring long muzzle,
white teeth, wet lifted
nose sniffing. Dog-like
and yet with a hint of
cat again this morning
she asks for entrance
as I watch her through
the peephole. Tomorrow
I promise to answer her
request, pour pure water
in a bowl, place raw bacon
on china plate. For rest she
can have the sofa and if
she wanders upstairs, one
step, another to empty
room next to mine, bed
freshly made, clean pillow,
pillow case, she’ll view
the mountain she used to
hunt until tired of scarce
prey, indifferent other
foxes, blue sky and dark,
all weather unpredictable.
We lie down, sleep, dream
the other is a fox, a man
familiar with two legs,
pricked ears with fur, full
tail to make one animal,
our clawed and padded
prints to lead you always
so far, so near, that wild
sweetest scent of refuge.

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