Wolf Woman

Patricia Wellingham-Jones
From: Poetry Depth Quarterly 2002
Last Modified: May 6, 2003

Under flesh seared in sudden flame
they howled. Enraged
voices bubbled in blisters
from scorched, peeling skin.
Through long months
of drugs, knives, bandages,
the subterranean creatures
growled when she wept,
snarled with short-fused temper,
shrieked through gritted teeth
at treatments promised
to make her whole.
She kept them secret,
the wolves that prowled her body.
One unendurable day
they leaped through her lips,
raged in pain.
Doctors did not understand.
Thought her mad, doubled the dose.
Months passed. She healed.
Kept the source
of her strength buried.
On the day of her discharge
they clawed free of deep tissue,
howled in unwindowed light.
She claimed them -
Eva of the Wolves.

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