THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2008

  Susan Richardson
WHO'S AFRAID?
 

Wolf wanders.
Wolf wonders what's happened
to his tundra and his snow.
Wolf overheats on high-risen streets and grabs
the sky between his teeth to try to widen
the horizon. Wolf's hunger sends
him hunting twice a day: Wolf slinks home
with shrink-wrapped Asda prey.

Wolf's pack bonds over drinks.
Wolf's supposed to sink beer and laugh at jokes
about eating grandmothers
and girls in red cloaks.
Wolf's meant to make football talk and follow
a favourite team but Wolf can only dream
of following caribou on their migration north.
Wolf must never raise his tail
higher than that of the alpha male
with his fast-cars-sharp-suits-vast-desk-huge-wealth.
Wolf wants to know when stealth
went out of fashion.

Wolf's passion is for a lair that's bare and austere
for Wolf's idea of fun has never been stalking
flatpacks in the depths of IKEA.

Wolf's sick of being blamed
by the boy who claimed Wolf was here
when Wolf was not.
Wolf's pride hurts like permafrost.

Wolf tries to whistle
but Wolf's lost the tune.
Wolf howls at red traffic lights
instead of the moon.


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