In one year, I've walked in the park only three times,
despite it adjoining the yard,
despite the gate we keep open in the fence.
The first time I saw a small owl chased by robins.
The second time I think I found your den,
though I knew it was there.
The third time I found you.
Having seen you lounging in our backyard,
on the old wood deck, just torn down last week,
I thought you were relaxing in the shade,
off the path.
But the flies.
Last spring, when we stayed inside and isolated,
you and your family
(for I don't know if you are reynard, vixen, or kit)
delighted us with your visits to our yard,
a reminder of life ongoing.
With frequent glances out the windows at dawn and dusk,
we stopped to watch when you appeared,
snapping distant photos.
During the winter, your tracks
formed a dotted line through the yard,
intermixed with the squirrels', rabbits', and deer's,
never seen, just a trace left behind.
I hope it was quick and quiet.
Know that someone marked your passage.