Voids: A Poem

Driving around a sharp bend on a back road in the early morning hours I saw a fox sitting on a grassy mound looming over the road, back lit by the rising morning sun

It stared off into the fog overlooking a dairy farm in the small gully below

I stopped and watched it as it sat still, seemingly devoid of any feeling about the world around it

The frost beneath its feet and the daybreak mist did not seem to register or affect it in any way

Likewise, my car and I seemed to bleed into the background, unnoticed

I called you from my car later on that day on my commute home

There was nothing new to say to you, and although I had every intention of letting you be,

I convinced myself empty pleasantries were better than disconnected silence

We exchanged quick updates on our days and spent most of our call listening to the other one breathe while we thought of what to say next

The emptiness had come to act as the counselor we never saw, a silent spectator to our talks

To fill the time between awkward “uhms” and heavy exhales I thought of a quote I read in a waiting room magazine

“This pain will be useful to you someday”

I rounded the same corner from the morning and I thought of the fox and its unblinking indifference

I wondered if its solemn stare was loneliness or courage or maybe a mixture of both

And as we hung up after a minute or two of struggling to connect, I wondered the same about you and I