The Wolf and I

I hovered past where the big rock stood
in the feverland of a silent wood
where I hunted
like a specter of a man not dead
nor quite alive yet
where I hunted

my patience that hunted my anger
my courage confronted my fear
the fear that would conceive me
like the whispers of some wretched stranger
the courage that would deliver me
from fear
where I hunted

so I slipped on
over moss and root and dirt and stone
my 30-30 rifle dangled ready at my side
my long brown coat
pulled tight to keep quiet
everything to prove
to no one in sight

when there in the distance
I witnessed
the stag at the head of his herd
I observed for a while
but chose not to disturb their
tranquil grazing and
hardy vigilance
they were not what I was after

so again I moved on by and by passing
bear and rabbit and snake and hawk
but when I came upon the wolf I stopped
there was this flash
the fire of the ages was alive in the green eyes
of the dire wolf
and fear and anger was its name

I stood there
calmly studied him
but it did not take long
for the beast of my wild heart
to notice me and swiftly rebuke
my admiration
the wolf attacked the hunter

he lunged and I dodged
and there began a monstrous clamor
he lunged a second time and I struck him
with the butt of my gun
but he reeled up and lunged
a third and final time

I reluctantly raised my rifle
and CRACK!
the sound of thunder
the wolf attacked the hunter
and so in a sudden act
of self-destruction I felt
that I had lost a part of myself

but as I knelt
softly weeped over the body
I saw in the green light
of the wolf's eyes that no
It was not lost
for I would meet with fear and anger again
and even though I wanted to be friends
If I have to fight it
I can win
I can win

no the beast is not dead
for I too am the wolf
and I rend the fur
from the frame
naked as the wolf
in the second skin
I build a great fire
despite the promise
of rain

in the wolf skin dancing
around and around the funeral pyre
as the flames grew higher and higher
no! the wolf was not dead
for the beast and I are the same

stomping muddy
howling bloody
I had overcome a lesser part of myself
so it could be reincarnated
in a joyful celebration
a necessary reclamation

the dance may have been noisy and untamed
but if it wasn't for the patience
and the courage of the hunt
I would remain the same

not dead nor quite alive yet
like some specter of a man
I hovered past where the big rock stood
in the feverland of a silent wood
where I hunted

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