Updated: Feb 3, 2022
“The cunning fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.”
– Thomas Paine
They call her.
Perhaps, it is even her name.
She answers to it just the
same as she did to
Daji, Kayo, and Bao Si.
(They say she has a taste for kings)
It’s safe to say, she grins,
fur rippling underneath the mortal
skin she learned to wear so well.
Husband smiles back and does not see.
(She hides her sharpened teeth behind her fan)
Does she remember?
In the milk-sweet darkness, with her Dam,
naked still, cub-brother, litter-sister, all her
family huddled close beneath the earth,
youth-blind and infant-mewling through the night.
(Mewling loud enough a hunter heard)
She does not say a word.
Lips tight, her hands flutter up like two
birds, to catch a widow’s tears within their palms.
Her husband withers in their wedding bed.
(She’s never played with poison before)
how long, how many more
Dynasties and Kings must you ensnare
for crimes that were not theirs?
for a vixen’s game of sport?
(He did not have to let her in, to take her to his bed)
They say the king is dead.
On swift paws with russet fur, they say, a Vixen
fled the palace guards, dodged their swords, and left
nothing but her laughter on the wind.
(And here is what they do not say –
Tamamo-No-Mae got away)
Insp. The legend of Tamamo-No-Mae