Poem by Glen Wilson (Northern Ireland, UK)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 47
For her to urinate for the first time
I must massage her tummy, my pink heat words
summoning her insides to flow. She whines
but eventually wets the dirt. I don’t know
why I know this, perhaps a flinching of memory
made me lick the soft down.
We are all rooted in touch,
the passing on of thoughts
by staggering steps, I cannot
tell her how to hunt she must see
the hare upright, nose twitching,
gambling on scent.
She must track the lines I take,
notice how I stay upwind of my prey until
I can court closer than a lover. She must see
how deep to bite for life, how far up
the teeth the blood paints, how two rhythms
must become one.
I help her learn how the throat forms
the words and the breath pushes up
the volume. We howl and that
is our culmination, announcing
we are here, surviving, overcoming
the hurt and the fight.
I lie down and watch her chew and play
with the last of our dinner, an only child,
the runt that endured the rest of the litter.
I notice the creases in my own fur
tongue shaped, tufted up almost sharp,
a killer’s pattern, a mother’s stroke.
Glen Wilson lives in Portadown, Co Armagh with his wife Rhonda and children Sian and Cain. He has been widely published having work in The Honest Ulsterman, Foliate Oak, Iota, A New Ulster and The Interpreters House amongst others. In 2014 he won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize.
He is currently working on his first collection of poetry.
Image: "Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) by Gregory Smith.