Other People’s Problems – Lead Wolf

I met her at a cocktail party.
She arrived fashionably late,
a slim figure, wrapped in black,
her sharp edges and tight posture
said, Don’t talk to me!
So… I engaged her in conversation.

What’s up with the tail? I asked.
She detached the furry appendage,
It’s a grey wolf, she replied.
Got it from the Reservation store.
They had real ones, from roadkill,
but they were too expensive.
Her long brown hair,
which carefully curved over one brow,
was framed by her hoodie.
Penetrating eyes were ringed with mascara.
A cluster of leather necklaces
perched on her collarbone,
one a dog collar with bone-shaped tag
the inscription unreadable.

At 12 years of age,
she was youngest guest by 20.
Companion to her single father,
his weekend to be with her.
He monitored our interaction.
Was it my inquiries,
or her responses
that he feared?

You’re allowed to attach a tail
to your private school uniform?
I was amused.
She wagged… a finger,
no claw on that digit,
the nail chewed to meet skin
around a small ebony circle.
I’m the Alpha, she bragged,
followed by a pack of seven,
picked a new Beta last week,
her name is… Camille.
We go on hunts at recess,
prowl the school yard,
jump classmates,
knock them to the ground.
I wondered… a swarm,
a culturally appropriated gang?
A spiritually oriented subculture
fueled by adolescent hormones?

I’m Therian, she explained,
a controversial minority.
The wolf is my spirit connection,
an aspect of identity,
not ritual, or religion,
not something of this place.
Perhaps a remnant of past life,
psychological imprinting,
unconventional neurological wiring,
the source of mental shifts,
feeling in the wrong body…
a misplaced soul.

I met her at a cocktail party.
She was wrapped in black
with sharp edges and tight posture
that said, Don’t talk to me!
Her snarl was defensive.
She was fierce in her convictions,
a leader, deeply loyal,
creatively seeking her place in this world.

YouTube Video for this poem below.

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Marion Reidel, Upper Canadian Author with a wicked sense of humour. Buy her book, visit her on tour, and also get the tattoo.