Scanograph of a fox skull found under a hedge I Found a Dead Fox Mary Oliver I found a dead fox beside the gravel road, curled inside the big iron wheel of an old tractor that has been standing, for years, in the vines at the edge of the road. I don’t know what happened to it- when it came there or why it lay down for good, settling its narrow chin on the rusted rim of the iron wheel to look out over the fields, and that way died- but I know this: its posture- of looking, to the last possible moment, back into the world- made me want to sing something joyous and tender about foxes. But what happened is this- when I began, when I crawled in through the honeysuckle and lay down curling my long spine inside that cold wheel, and touched the dead fox, and looked out into the wide fields, the fox vanished. There was only myself and the world, and it was I who was leaving. And what could I sing then? Oh, beautiful world! I just lay there and looked at it. And then it grew dark. That day was done with. And then the stars stepped forth and held up their appointed fires- those hot, hard watchmen of the night.