The Fox Pup of Big Blue Mountain

Today is “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” so I thought it would be a perfect time to share one of my own poems with you. This little free verse poem is a reprint. It was first published in the Poetry Society of Texas’s 2012 prize anthology A Book of the Year for winning the Derry Tutt Memorial Award. Enjoy!

The Fox Pup of Big Blue Mountain

He was broken when we found him—
not quite wild,
in spite of being surrounded by wilderness—
limping around with his tail down
in pain or shame.
We nursed him like our own,
patiently accepting his mistrust
as we pulled splinters and shards
of broken glass from his soft paws.
He stayed then, for a while,
watching us from watery eyes
until we left…
him whole—and not quite wild.

© Annie Neugebauer, 2012.
All rights reserved.

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  • Peggy

    I love this pretty little poem!!! It’s so quiet and kind of sneaks up on you:) I find myself coming back to it and wondering about the little fox. It raises questions and keeps the reader wondering; it almost feels like part of a larger story. I keep thinking, “Who is we?”, “will they see the pup again?”, “can the pup make it in the wilderness now that it’s not quite wild?”. And all of this is done in such a lovely, subtle way that reminds us of the forrest, nature, and man’s compassion for living creatures. I appreciate this sweet, peaceful oasis in my stressful week!

    • Thank you so much! I’m a big fan of “quieter” poems, especially in free verse. I’m so glad you liked it.

  • Carie Juettner


  • Cynthia Robertson

    Oh, lovely!
    Was this inspired by a real life event?

    • Thanks Cynthia! Yes, it was, but the event did not involve an actual fox pup. It’s a metaphor. Poet! Guilty as charged. 🙂

  • A. B. Davis

    I adore the quiet rhyming and rhythmic cadence of this. There also seems to be a palpable nostalgia here that makes it hit so much closer to home.

  • Joseph A Pinto

    Wonderful poem, Annie!! 🙂

  • Ronald Fischman

    Peggy (whose tracks I seem to be following with a 17-day delay) said it all. You could teach a fine lesson in metonymy with this little gem.

  • Traci Kenworth

    I like it!! You can feel the depths of your caring for him and his hope to begin again.