The girl and the half wolf sound


Release the pack
into their whorling wolfscream.
A lightning-cut electrified
cable of a scream, sparking
to a panicked dance. Let
its coiled metal whips snap
out and back in thwarted reach.
I am just a jogger in a forest

with racing huskies hoarse
behind me. I lived to tell
this tale and all the others,
but want to turn and face
the hunt. Release the pack
into my puny squawk.
My taught-to-bargain please
leave me. Did she?

Balancing in booted heels
on her last tipsy toddle home
coddled by closed-circuit TV.
Tipping left to right in time
lagged snaps, she shuns
her heavy thighs in blackened
clothes-shop glass. A jewelled
and naked mannequin

with hand on hip implies
It can happen to anyone.
Sticky sweet with juniper juice,
she calls to the kebab men
who ask if she is lonely or meek.
It was their smiles that did it
their wolvish winks
that rivelled all her days.

So what if they exchanged
a look as she slumped savvy
into their Cavalier, swapping
sure for fear. Don’t they encourage
taking risks? I can handle myself
becomes resisted
judging by the wrists.

Why the narrowest point
where fingers meet?
Why the river, the park,
the beach? Beautiful by day
abandoned street. How come
the girl, the girl, the girl
or aren’t we bothering with why?


Part of The Learned Pig’s Wolf Crossing editorial season, spring/summer 2017.

Image credit: Tony, via Flickr


The Learned Pig


Karen Hodgson Pryce

Karen Hodgson Pryce lives in the Cairngorms area of Scotland. She draws inspiration from her time spent wild swimming, running along forest trails, birdwatching, and hill walking. Her poetry which has been published in The Butcher’s Dog, Mslexia, The Poets’ Republic, Open Mouse and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Her short story entry was Commended in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2017.