grey and screaming. Howling
my wolf’s howl;
calling to a mother that didn’t understand
and a father that looked on with drooped eyes,
blinking hard, as if to wake up and try it all again.
I lay in their arms but itched
irritated, their soft unbroken skin catching
under my crowning claws.
I guess he saw them first.
Only holding me briefly, never to let me pierce;
never to let me mark him,
for that might make it real, I harm
therefore I am.
I learnt to walk on my hind legs as told,
clipped my nails, hid my fur.
They adapted as all did and held me when I was hurt,
hunted me when I hurt them.
I saw myself, gradually, in the mirror;
saw the forest fires in my eyes,
the habitual predator looking back from me,
the eyes of my father blazing
from my face, a sheep’s face
with wolf eyes.
I growled as I heard him growl at midnight,
every third Tuesday when I would not sleep.
I ate as he ate, when one fell behind.
I grew teeth as he’d bite.
I took his coat;
wrapped in it, swaddled like a baby
merging with the instincts of their parents.
I evolved as he did, for if you wear a coat so long
it becomes yours.
Alone in a pack, I transform
as he challenged me to,
White wool to grey fur in the full moon
of a living room lamp.