Clare Fielder



The children crowd around

the body, poking with sticks.

The insides of its ears so soft

you want to cry, to hold it close.

No wounds. Eyes open.


You dig the hole by the fence.

It feels too light to be flesh.

As you shovel in the soil you

feel its ears filling up with world.




You help it out of its skin

gently, like you would help

your small son out of his

clothes at bedtime.


The skin comes away whole.

You cut around the ankles last.

You think of Peter Pan’s shadow,

pooled around his feet, being

stitched back onto his shoes.

It would look like this.




For days after the fox tore

through the chicken wire,

she sits in the corner of

her hutch and quivers.

She makes small movements,

to and from the water bottle.

She lets us touch her more than

she did before. Docile and

shaken. We think of how close

she came to being meat.




It soaks for hours, curled

in the pot – a taught

and naked animal

that is no longer itself.

You will taste its strength,

its bounds and darts,

and burrows  and it will

remind you that you

once were wild too.

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Clare Fielder is a writer and teacher, originally from London and currently living in Barcelona. Her work has appeared in Mason's Road, Minerva Rising and she recently won the Craft CNF Award