Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Canis Lupus

Mimi’s waiting patiently for a blood-red
moon, an eclipse that starts past
midnight, that starts with a wolf’s
muzzle pointed skyward, its lips
making a howling lament, a rumbling
moan until it’s joined by a rough pack

Fellow canines, sister bitch, form a pack
friendly to none but the other, their red
focused eyes wait until a train rumbles
far down cold, steel tracks, past
farmhouses where prayers on lips
form, children breathing like a pack of wolves

Tangled like a litter of whelps-to-wolves
Tussling for their place in the pack
Tough and snarling, their bristled hair, lips
turned back in a sneer, yet their red
tender hearts bleed of memories past
today and tomorrow with the past rumble

By 1926, the last wolves were rumbled
back to their graves in Yellowstone, No Wolves
became the mantra, this shameful past
beholden to government control. Yet a pack
beneath the radar, sheltered on a red
bed of secrets, grew in Minnesota, on the lip

of Lake Superior—those wolves’ curled lips,
open teeth, and crouched haunches, rumble
outside where they sleep, no predators with red
objectives will attack them. The alpha wolf,
only betrayed by man, runs in tight packs
or strikes out solo in search of a mate. In the past,

no wailing wolf could be found. “That’s in the past,”
newspapers claimed, but Mimi still believed, her lips
not opening, not even mouthing the truth. A wolf’s pack
need not fear, Mimi’s tongue will not wag, nor words rumble
nilly-willy. Mimi sets salt-licks for the deer, knowing a wolf
nearby will soon down one for its dinner, under the moon, blood-red.

Wolf-packs survive despite past histories of scourge
Mimi, so unlike Little Red Cap, licks her own lips
As thunder rumbles and her wolves wake for the night


Doug Westberg said...

wow! i didn't know you had it in you! what rhythm! what energy!

Anonymous said...

From the time last night's moon lifted out of the ocean I was there with my camera. This is a great write.

In Montana I knew of a wolf pack back when they said wolves were all gone. They howled at night too...but back in a basin clear back in next to the divide. Saw wolf tracks three different locations in Montana back then.

Charli Mills said...

Terrific poem! Mimi, what a great name for a wolf. Having seen the red moon, I can feel its glow upon these images. Wolves are canny survivors.

susanbudig said...

Interesting, Charli, I didn't know Mimi was a wolf. :-)