Encore, Mr Fox!

by David Kennedy

monsoon         oolong         spoon …

Reynard lies along the garden wall smoking.
‘I thought you were a cat,’ I say.
Reynard takes off his i-Pod,
sits up, arranges his brush:
‘Sorry, would you like one?’
And he takes out an egg-shaped case and opens it.
It’s full of feathers and chicken skin
twisted into the shape of cheroots.
He reads my mind: ‘Not as gross as they look.
Once you get the taste, no going back.’
And he flicks away the but and fits a fresh one
into a chicken’s beak holder.
And he parts his fur and shows me his tattoos.
Each one’s an episode of cunning starring him.

He says, ‘I really must get round to writing my life story.’
He says, ‘I’ve had the title for years:
With One Bound Our Hero Broke Free.’
And he takes down his red guitar,
wattle axe, rufous banjo, and he starts to sing:
‘Do You Remember Love?’ and ‘Even this City
Reminds Me of Another City
Under The Moon.’ He has me singing along.
Then he gets up and turns up the night
like an astrakhan collar and there’s just me;
backs of houses, some lit, others not,
fragments of code; and, on the garden wall,
a jar of white jam full of luminous fruits,
luminous wishbone fruits.
… sound           of smoke rings               in the night