A Poem by Katherine Robinson


Proverbial fleece, flesh of fire;

Piercer of the earth’s shut door,

Lantern for that unlit cell.

-“The Fox,” Dafydd ap Gwilym, trans. Daniel Huws 

She’s vixen, varlet, trickster, 

the roamer, the keen-eyed-one,

she shadows the road’s verges,

observing, the cunning one. 

A plié of roots folds down

into den, then she rises, 

lit wick, February flame, 

midwife of the midwinter.

She skirts the meadow, flicker, 

pleat in the long grass, fading. 

She lopes back home at first light. 

The rabbit dead in her teeth 

sways, paws stalks of tasseled grass. 

She swallows innards, leaves scoured 

skin of what’s becoming fox. 

Katherine Robinson‘s poems have appeared in The London Magazine, Poetry Ireland, and The Hudson Review, and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, and Ted Hughes: Nature and Culture. Katherine is a PhD candidate at Cambridge University, and trustee for Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, Shetland.