F for Fox
Preview of ‘New and Collected Poems for Children’ to be published by Faber in Autumn 2009
by Carol Ann Duffy
The fox fled over the fields away from the farm
and the furious farmer.
His fur was freaked.
His foxy face was frantic as he flew. A few feathers
fluttered out of his mouth.
had broken his fast with a feast of fowl!
The farmer had threatened to flay the fur
from his frame.
The frightened fox flung himself
at a fence.
The fox found himself in a fairground,
with a Ferris Wheel, flashing lights, fruit machines, fish
in plastic bags.
Furtively, he foraged for food-
fragments of candy floss, french fries-
but a fella folding fivers into his fist
flicked a fiery fag at the fox and the fox foxed off.
Further and further fled the fox, through Forfar, Fife, Falkirk,
forests, fields, Fleetwood, Fazakerley, thunder and fog,
famished and fearful;
forcing his furry features
into family bins, filching thrown-away food.
Thief fox, friendless fox, thin fox. Finally
he came at frist light to a faraway farm...
where the fox fed himself full
till his face was fat
and forlorn feathers floated away on the frosty air.