Redcoat

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Flung like an old rug
by the roadside.
A dead fox
big as a dog,
his thick pelt clotted with muck,
more brindled than chestnut. Only
his brush blazes in the gutter
like a dropped banner .
I have seen him and other redcoats
dragging, head down, over sodden moors,
or peering out from cover, black eyes aimed
and purposeful as musket muzzles.
They fight an older war, living
off the land, warm and stinking
in dugouts under ground, then
raid the city, treading shadows.
Bellydown by henruns
they plot murder, cast
a thoughtful look at local cats,
die quick, flung headlong in the gutter
by passing cars. Leave nothing but
a pelt of grubby fur, a broken grin
a spattered russet flag.

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