Announcing Our LGBTQ End-Of-Life Guide Project Learn More!

This is a poem from my new friend Bethany Pope, with whom I’ve been emailing back and forth on such topics as “bleach blonde stasis” and “giving birth to death.”  Let’s just say the Order’s inbox has been filled with joy as of late.

This is, in Bethany’s words, “how I reacted to a scrim of meat dust on a cold wet road,” or more directly, “I saw a fox get hit by a car. I tried to help. This was the result.”


The Vixen in the Bracken


The fox is always multiple,

Trickster, creature, psychopomp,

It moves between the worlds.

I see here there,

Rough fur snagging on the blackthorn

Where the shrike has set her golden store.

A youngling, year-old, teeth still white,

And very sharp, visible,

She pants for her food.


I see her here,

Her gumline bloody,

Eye tooth snapped,

Panting out red

From tire-flattened lungs.

A flesh-thing, dying badly

By the side of the road.


I see her running,

Her hind leg flexing,

Muscles visible, shifting

Beneath the white and russet pelt.

Her head turns loose

Upon the broken column spine, eyes slit,

Her wide jaws bloody, satisfied,

No longer hungry.

But where do I see her?

I saw her

Running though forest,

Water beading, dewdropped,

From boughs in the black.


I saw her,

Shivering, frothing,

Coughing up blood,

Badly dying

Fur flicked brusque

By the speed of the cars.


I saw her

When I moved her

At her passing, flexing

The leg, with my red hand,

Turning her disjointed head.


Where do I see her?

Now. Where she always was.

Though I wore her presence

On my nails,

She was and is Vixen,

What was and is,

And is to come.


What I see; what breathed,

What rots in the fen.

Trickster, creature, psychopomp,

Always multiple,

Which moves between worlds,

Locking eyes with me.



While we rest here on the topic of deceased foxes, if you’ve been reading the Order of the Good Death for awhile, you’ve seen this video before.  But this seems like a good opportunity to repost one of my top five favorite things on the internet, Max Swinton’s “Mr. Fox.”


I do not know thee, sir.  But be mine, Mr. Swinton, be mine.

Bethany’s Blog


Your First Time Here? Find Out More About The Order!