This is an excerpt from Expectation Days by Sandra McPherson.

Fox: A Memory of My Husband

(after an observation by Gerald Durrell)
The breath of a fox
May wait a million years
To rain on the oak
That heard the animal pant.

The oak will not be there;
Or not that one—
Some patience the oak left.
I am the she-fox

Remaining to respire
And sigh
The sparse cloud, the strewn mist
That is you.

Now is the reviving snow of New Year,
When I call the dishonest furnace repair
And carry lengths of Carlos’s
Downed apricot tree

In to be burned. A sizzle
From the breath of the fox.
3, 4, 5 a.m., bark-shine and smoke,
Your alder-speckled back

Not here.
But the torrid woodstove works,
And in the morning the mottled
Serviceperson reeks of oil,

Fingerprints the furnace, doors, his chin,
Takes my first money of the year
And edges out
Where frosted lilac leaves

Splay flat and do not wag.
I dab
White ginger essence on a dried lei,
Wish for your cress-scented cheek,

Its breath delaying
In snowflake, glacier, sea.
In cumulus pushing rain.
It will come back to me.

Or not to me...