A morbid How-To guide.

Killing the Wolf

A knapped blade of fired chert,
a handle carved from bone,
drape the edge in viscera
left from the slaughter,
bury the dry bone
in the earth whence it sprung,
and do not neglect
to lock up your dogs.

The wolves come with the darkness,
silent as the images that stir in your head.
A woman, half-wild, aflame and yet dancing.
She will not harden, though she blackens like chert.
The old man, bent and red-handed, who opens the doors.
The child who smiles up, white toothed, from the jaws of Coyote.
The wolves come, yellow-eyed, silent,
to the threshold of your home.

The sheep guts stiffen on the blade,
dug handle deep in frost.
The tongue of the wolf steams in black air,
numb as a stone.
White entrails, streaked red, dangling
stiffened from the fire-marred blade,
the bright tongue out and steaming,
sensate only to flavour and the remnants of touch,
seeking the flesh.

All taste is blood to the night-hungry.
The steam peters out.
Hairs stiffen, flesh hard as stone.
Unfired.
And you, awakening to morning,
forgetting your dreams,
face the flesh at your door.
The sunshine. Unfeeling.
Permafrost.

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About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope was named by the Huffington Post as ‘one of the five Expat poets to watch in 2016’. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described her latest collection as 'poetry as salvation'.....'This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.' Bethany has won many literary awards and published several collections of poetry. Her first novel, Masque, was published by Seren in 2016. Her second novel, Ordinary Lives: The Ballad of John and Mary, was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @BethanyWPope

Posted on January 24, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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