They didn’t want my name to be conventional.
It’s a quick, sharp sound, a sound that belongs with cricket chirps and snapping twigs, brilliant as a flash of orange fur.
For a long time, I thought they named me right. The woods and fields that bundled up against the house were a good place for a daredevil girl named after a wild thing. My childhood was spent with muddy clothes, berry sticky hands and briars in my red hair. They let me have free reign to play and explore until night crept over to hug the trees. I loved the boundless shadows of night and whenever my courage failed me, all I had to do was look up between the branches to be comforted by pinprick stars.
Now I know they named me wrong.
Fox is the name of a caged beast in the city square who cannot escape her fate.
The trees and streams vanished one day and now the weary grey of the city sucks the fire from my eyes, the orange from my hair; a leech.
Some mornings I burrow between the blankets and don’t get up because it’s too much to face.
Some nights when the traffic stills I hear the trees calling me and I slide up my window to look out, but the night is bright with street light, no longer a pretty, mysterious thing.
Now they say I have to keep the window closed.
They cage everything here.
Originally published in Write On – Issue #52