Poem: The Fox Cubs

By Dr Arthur Broomfield

“There, in time, he’d have a view of three fox cubs at play around the sedge and watch for a pair of black ears – a periscope above the vetch, then another.”  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

“There, in time, he’d have a view of three fox cubs at play around the sedge and watch for a pair of black ears – a periscope above the vetch, then another.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

After tea, when the goat was milked

and the hens shut in their coop,

on a May evening where the road forked

and the scioch blossom began to droop,

he’d take a turn to the right

and stroll to the rise of ground

covered in briars and blackthorn,

a dry spot in sandy land

and fade into the scrub,

the ash saplings, newly born.

There, in time, he’d have a view

of three fox cubs at play around the sedge

and watch for a pair of black ears –

a periscope above the vetch,

then another. Where’s the third,

the one in a starched white bib,

the one who caught the bird?

And his eyes would dart with their leaps

or search when they played hide and seek

or set, when they set, he’d scarcely breathe.

The evening star so near, the twilight deep.

Dr Arthur Broomfield is a poet and Beckett scholar. His works include The Empty Too: Language and Philosophy in the Works of Samuel Beckett (Cambridge Scholars’ Publishing 2014) as well as three poetry collections: Cold Coffee at Emo Court (Revival 2016), The Giants’ Footsteps at the Rock of Dunamaise (Revival 2019) and Ireland Calling (Revival 2020)