April 2, 2015

howl

in every woman is a wolf,
a trammeled wild thing,
in every she-wolf,
a wild tenderness.
red went into the wood
and found a wolf,
which is to say
she found herself.
she should have seen it coming---
that red cap, after all,
is the ancient badge of womanhood,
the heraldry of our power.
red cap, red rose,
all those ruby portents,
all the cross-stitched prayers on clothing,
were like the map's edge warnings:
here be dragons (or wolves)...
here you will find pain,
and dance with death,
and make new life,
and we will celebrate you for it.
the world changed,
women burned,
and wolves dwindled,
with the dwindling woods.
we have been told stories
where there is no room
for a wolf within a girl,
a woman, a grandmother;
where the women are in the wolves,
consumed.
so i shouldn't have been surprised
when i asked for a rose
and you gave me a bramble.
doesn't matter---
i will find my roses in me,
there with the wolf and the memory of woods,
and all things fine and fierce and free.
i will take the thorns to heart
and make a rose-cane flute,
and play my ancient song,
i will move in moonlight,
and howl in my red dress...
if you fear this,
you are not the wolf
for me.





i

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