Author Joseph Heywood
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Outside the Fence
[Portage, January 30, 2011]

I sense the wolf’s essence nearby again,
Somewhere beyond the chain link fence
In a mangle of trees all twisted about
By weather and unseen genetic storms,
A figure lurking and watching
This way, I wonder why just now?
Years back I met a wolf at a bend on the Iron River,
We looked eye to eye, knowing our kind had met
Before, and moved on absent angst or fear.
The time before that, the wolf circled a pale
Blue body in the dining room, like
A crossing guard waiting for kids to come
This time there are forty four black ribbons
Beyond the fence, fluttering
Through grayish trees, interweaving
Motions, like a child’s flipbook
Pantomiming argy-bargy,
Simple seduction, harbinger
Of futures we all face alone,
The solo voyage with gray guides
We’ve sensed and never met,
Our own wolves to lead us across
To that which comes next, and from which
There are no recorded escapes.
Banish now notions of returns
From the foreverness where wolves
Wander in the light unafraid,
Begging us pay heed and do the same.

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