I am covered in my wolf’s skin, wandering the wilds.
I follow the call, pulled by an invisible energy.
A human presence
and I flee.
I seek out the quietest corner and curl myself to sleep.
I carry my home on my back, unbound by external needs.
I eat ravenously from whatever I find,
juices dripping down my maw.
Always tense, sprung, quickly assessing
I dart from this to that.
I howl in delight
at the empty sea,
thundering down the broken cliffs
to tumble in the sand and the crashing waves.
I flop on the warm earth and pant in the sun.
Covered in burrs and scrapes and burns,
fur matted and salted, I stare wild-eyed at the emerging moon and stars.
Days and nights pass, no other living thing in sight.
My solitude begins to transform
and loneliness creeps into its place, pulling at little corners of my mind.
There were others once. There was more than myself.
I remember the warmth of the indoors; four walls can be a home and not a cage.
I am drawn by the smell of your cooking fire.
I see you, Man, and I remember and know you.
You have embraced me, once, twice,
maybe countless times.
I sniff at my ragged form. Am I a wolf, even?
At the place in front of my heart I find a hole in my coat.
When I reach in it unravels and my fur slips from my shoulders.
I shed my exterior
with all its power and strength
and underneath I am naked,
I can join you inside now but I also need you. I can’t protect myself in this form.
I am supple and tender and I give in
to a confounding desire to lay exposed with you.
You have stolen my strength.
Where have you hung my glorious fur?
I am drowning in sensitivity.
My weakness attracted you when it was a hint. As a reality it repels you.
I cannot count on you, I never could, I never can.
When your back is turned I steal back my freedom.
I pull on my thick exterior and I am a wolf again.