Dead Fox

by Chris Tusa

In the slow drawl of winter we find it
near the edge of a dirt road,
twitching in a clump of weeds,
its eyes black pools of rain,
splotches of blood like red flowers
blooming in its fur.

We stand for a moment in the freezing air
until my uncle returns with his rifle.
He picks the fox up by its tail,
tells us to wait for him near the truck,
then disappears into the woods.

Minutes later, we hear
the sound of a gunshot echo
through the dark pines. Then,
except the crackle of dead twigs
against the still gray air.

CHRIS TUSA was born and raised in New Orleans. He holds a B.A. in English, an M.A in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. He teaches in the English Department at LSU and acts as Managing Editor for Poetry Southeast. With the help of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, he was able to complete his first chapbook of poetry, Inventing an End. His debut novel, Dirty Little Angels, was published by The University of West Alabama in March of 2009. His debut collection of poems, Haunted Bones, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in 2006. His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Texas Review, Prairie Schooner, and others.