The Wolf’s Tale’, Rebecca Buchanan

Illustration Jessie Willcox Smith (1911)

 [ Girl meets the wolf, Jessie Willcox Smith (1911) ] She stole my child.
Stripped off her skin,
marched her naked
beneath the sun
until she forgot
that she had ever been a wolf.

She is lost to me.
She has been walking
too long
on two legs.

Ah, but the little one

—my grandchild, mine, not hers—

I have seen her,
hopping through the shrubs,
jumping from logs,
sniffing at rabbits and birds.

She knows her wolf blood.

She remembers,
even if she does not know
what she remembers.

My rage is patient.

I shall wait in my woods.

And when,
at last,
too curious,
she steps off the path,
I will remind her
how to walk on four legs
instead of two,
I will teach her
how to hunt by moon and wind,
and I will show her
the sharpness of her teeth—
and that a wolf’s
best revenge
is a full belly.

© 2019 Rebecca Buchanan

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