Kathryn Hunt: The Visitation

Last night a black fox
came to the door, its eyes turning to ice
when the light caught them.
It considered me through the glass,
loped away while I ran room to room
to go on seeing.

At the hour for zazen
I ate chocolate instead.
A bird pecked away at a tree
like my mother drumming her nails
on the table. A pile driver
clanked in the distance, a sound
not as beautiful as a temple bell
but still, in its own way, essential.

In my grandmother’s diaries,
she records her day as “raspberries,”
“a jardinière filled with gold.”
The just-kissed color of the berries,
isn’t that holy?
And the irritating little bird,
is that God talking? And what of longing?
Is it really a refusal?

Last night after the fox
disappeared in the grasses,
I stood in the incandescent light
of the kitchen and ate the sacrament
of vegetable soup. Don’t call me,
my mother said. It was the last time
I talked to her. I’m going out,
I probably won’t hear you.

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