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 is an award winning author of the LBA, and a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Awards. Her work was listed for the Cinnamon Press Novel Competition. She received her PhD from Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing program. Her first poetry collection, A Radiance was published by Cultured Llama Press in June. Her second collection, Persephone in the Underworld has been accepted by Rufus Books and shall be released in 2016. Her work has appeared in: Anon, Art Times, Ampersand, Blue Tattoo, Sentinel Quarterly, The Delinquent, De/Tached (an anthology released by Parthian), The Writer’s Hub, New Welsh Review, Every Day Poems, And Other Poems, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Magma, Words & Music, The Quarterly Conversation, Tears in the Fence, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Planet. Her work is due to appear in the next issues of Poetry Review Salzburg, Acumen, Pacific Poetry , Music& Literature, Anon, and The Screech Owl.

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

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