A red fox ambles in a steady, easy gambol,
back foot set in the front foot’s hole,
a tread for rambling through snow cross-lots—
tracks, read in the morning, a single line of dots
that would seem to have required practice to place
so perfectly. To fool dogs, they’ll turn and retrace
these steps, George Minot told Thoreau. And the hound
on the scent cannot tell which way the fox
is going. Another ploy, he said, to gain ground—
a breathing-spell—is climbing an outcrop of rocks
or high boulder, and jumping off very far to one side
to throw off a pursuer. Legs, elastic as india rubber—
gravity, somehow qualified—Thoreau saw a peculiar
principle of resiliency constantly operating in their stride.
Charles Weld’s poems have appeared in literary magazines such as Snakeskin, Southern Poetry Review, The Evansville Review, Worcester Review, CT Review, Friends Journal, Vita Brevis, Better Than Starbucks, Rue Scribe etc. Pudding House published a chapbook of his poems, Country I Would Settle In, in 2004. Kattywompus Press published another chapbook, Who Cooks For You? in 2012. His poems were included in FootHills Publishing’s anthology Birdsong in 2017. A mental health counselor, he’s worked primarily in a non-profit agency treating youth who face mental health challenges, and lives in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, USA.