When snow falls
on the back of a wild fox,
it becomes a pale blue shadow.
At night in a blizzard
the shadow comes running straight down
from the mountain,
circling the fences in a frozen village,
moving around the orange dreams of the people.
The blue shadow, before they know it,
sits in front of a chicken coop.
Before dawn in February,
in the gleam of a damask mantle of snow
the vixen returns to the mountain.
It is pregnant.
by Shinjiro Kurahara
publisher Dowaya, Tokyo, 2010
translation Mariko Kurihara, William I. Elliott, Katsumasa Nishihara