Copper

by Fern G. Z. Carr

a fox kit
drowning
                  awash in pus
                  bloated abscess
                  burgeoning
infection                      spreading
      bone disintegrating
      ball and socket hip
dis
                                                            located
whisked
           from the wild
           to the sterile
   shaved
   rubber tube down throat
   deathmimicking anaesthesia
multiple surgeries
on stainless steel tabletops
               salty whimpers
               from a stainless steel cage

tentative return to wildlife center
            placed in a pen with
                        vixen Cupcake
                        foster mother of orphaned kits
                        mentor of foxy ways

vixen Cupcake
foster mother of orphaned kits
mentor of foxy ways
            sly vixen
            stealthy executioner
   her needle teeth
            lining determined jaws
shake            shake            shaking            Copper

chunks of rusty fur missing
                  tiny body convulsing

then forever still