The Wolf

Once a wolf lost her pup in the woods,
turned her back and missed it sink into shadow,
found baby bones weeks later as if she would be able tell
but bones are plenty and white in winter.
So, she stalks motherhood,
longs to hold something other than a carcass between her teeth,
something living in all the insensible.

One day,
she comes across an anomaly
in a bundle of cheesecloth imprinted in snow
Squirming, pink, smelling like a thumping heart
and crying at the nakedness of the cold.
Perhaps it is the brightness of a first full moon
that conjures that maddening wail. 
Our wolf growls,
the sound of hunger.
Her stare synonymous 
with lips running over teeth
but she sees similarities in their protruding ribs
and decides,
the woods will not take this one from her.

He is old enough to bastardise her name now
pulls her fur too hard and too often,
tongue too big for his fat fleshy mouth.
The first time she hunts for him,
his face hollows and he curls around the corpse,
the boneless rabbit limp in his holy hands,
he has never had to survive,
but she still seeks his forgiveness,
licks his tears and stains his cheeks
with blood
soon he will learn to break necks
or he will be dead
and lonely.

The owls know to fear the boy who crawls on all fours,
at the pace of the wolf.
The rabbits know the naked man,
will still find the scent of their flesh,
This infinite moon watches him lick lice from his fur
she has been there to witness the blood drip from his chin
and when even the forest falls asleep,
she has seen,
once blue eyes,
appear a disembodied green,
under the cover of night, mother and son,
an agreement shaped, learnt and built on an empty promise,
together they bay,
and their howl rolls out over
one hundred canine graves
indignant to their suffering,
merely tolerant to each other’s. 

Spring brings another pup,
One whose snout ends with a bite,
and though Summer and Autumn rear her,
let her believe she tops the pyramid,
Winter keeps cards up it’s sleeves, 
and now all three face wasting away,
There is no fire made from the Huntsman’s collection,
to keep them warm,
No red riding hood,
for them to feast on.
The wolf, 
sees her son almost invisible in the snatching storm of snow,
and her daughter’s silhouette emboldened with grey fur,
She tears the heart from his side,
sprays virgin blood across virgin ground,
and they feast rapturously on the bleeding, breathing child,
make their bed in the suit of skin left behind,
Eat it and wage war on his kind.

But even then, the cold penetrates through all,
through fur and forest and their glassy eyed shelter,
No sound, not a whimper, Winter has called lapse.
nothing but downy feathers, each layer descending,
until the wolves are covered with mound upon mound,
Death resides under this guise of an untouched surface,
he is ready to pull down with bony fingers,
and eat and eat on dolour
Somewhere within there the three of them remain,
lost in the woods like the rabbit and the owl,
but all bones are plenty and white in winter.

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