An earth, a leash

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September 23, 2022 by The Citron Review

by Daisy Bassen


It’s been impossible to name the fox kits,
Though we’ve tried, impossible to recognize
Which one has just pounced, which one it was
Who sat at the base of a pine tree, overlooking
A small country of small fox-kit colored leaves
From last autumn. None of them are copper yet,
Bell metal or billon; they are in less danger
From the circling hawk now but it’s fearful
Watching them, knowing the vixen has bred more
Than she can manage, the litter hubris except
That she had nothing to do with choosing so many
To nurse, too many to bring along, a wild caboose.
Are we too far away to see them as each, separate
As a leaf? We’d rather be too far than incapable.


Daisy Bassen is a poet and community child psychiatrist who graduated from Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program and completed her medical training at The University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Salamander, McSweeney’s, Smartish Pace, Crab Creek Review, Little Patuxent Review, and [PANK] among other journals. She was the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest, the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest, the 2020 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, and the 2022 Erskine J Poetry Prize. She was doubly nominated for the 2019 and 2021 Best of the Net Anthology and for a 2019 and 2020 Pushcart Prize. Born and raised in New York, she lives in Rhode Island with her family.


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