Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wolves at Bay - Jack Varnell

Wolves At Bay

I loved you enough to not understand.
I could not fully relate or sympathize.
I did not really want to, even if I could have.
Whatever he, or they, did with you, or to you,
will die with you, though it lives, churning in you now.

Rusty autumn day, leaves fell like youth abducted.
Stumbling from the abandoned house on Bay Lane,
late using your latchkey, emerging disoriented,
with school uniform blouse ripped, and a bloodstain
red like maple leaves, on your skirt.
"Do you believe in God?" was the first thing you said.

For the first and only time in my life
I was very aware and very sad I wasn't God,
and that holding you seemed wrong.
Comforting you, an elusive goal.

Together, over the years,
two creative spirits led by denial, and fear
conspired enough to create a band-aid tale.
One of how you encountered, in shortcut alley
a slobbering, rabid alpha wolf,
followed by his frenzied omega pack.

You escaped out the window,
with the leaves raining orange and red like fire.
You stumbled down leafy paths,
into the safety of the concrete paths
where kneeling, you were reborn.
By asking if I believed in God.

It seems so long ago,
almost another time and place.
Even now, when I hold you in my arms,
I wonder where you are.
If you are hiding from me.

From my deepest slumber
I sometimes awaken to hear
the howls of wolves at Bay,
and your sleepy whispered cry.

I wonder if it is their night.
I check out the window,
with leaves raining orange and red like fire
wondering if the moon is full.
I ask myself if I believe in God.

Jack Varnell
© 2011

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