At an edge of the wood,
where there was no path,
Where I explored freely,
Suddenly upon the soles of my feet,
Still wet on muddied play,
Scratched the roughness of paved hard road,
Two grey legs stretching forever beyond me
Falling into the horizon.
I look back at the wood behind me
Searching for the knowing guiding gaze of the wolf
The wild freedom beckoning, as though offering a return
Yet before me instead was a balded place
An abrupt start at that very spot
And no indication of which one led where
Nor how or why either should lie to lead anywhere at all.
I closed my eyes and waited for the wind
And my body grew sore with stiffness unnatural to my art of moving
As I patiently listened for the bawl of the wolf,
The flutter of a butterfly’s wings,
Even a whisper of hint from the trees!
And the stillness greeted me like a death that left me breathing.
What god is this that should create such a path
And give no hint?
What of the earth that ran with me under my feet
And flew overhead
Guiding me into this moment
To fall away behind me, retreating behind my back?
And what path is this should I be set upon
Whose steps scratch at my feet,
Are unyielding to my weight,
And unsounding to the rhythm of my step?
As the sun falls, I sigh relief:
My moon, she will tell me where to go.
But the sky arrives with no smile of light,
His back turned in shy, deep darkness
With shawls of unlit grey clouds pulled high over his shoulder
As ashamed to face me and admit he had not
Brought the moon.
I hoped yet to hear the wolf trumpet his solo
Encourage me in the direction to find him again
But I imagine only whimpers instead, turning this way and that in search of distinguishing a real sound
While the brush whispers embarrassingly
For my sudden nakedness of their loving shelter
And obvious indecision of how to navigate the structured world,
For all my time amongst the art of the wild
Was spent with love –
What god is this that set these grey paths
Over life that once sprung in these places
Without posts to justify their purpose?
What love is found on a road set in stone
With boundaried lanes and specific directions?
In darkness, I have been waiting, while the nature turns others on me
Insects that take my blood and make my flesh a dinner
But I swat them only when they buzz for I am straining
to hear the bay of the wolf
And hoping it’ll guide me back into the wild of the forest
And save me from these grey grave ramps
Whose only surety is to lead out of the forest
And harden my sole along the way.
Dear wolf, I am awaiting your call.