Úlfhéðnar in my wolf-skin,
I am smuggled beneath
this fearsome hide.
Sneaksome, bristlepad varúlfur,
I must stay concealed,
keep my woman-ness below
the scenting of the men.
They would smell my sex
and think me weak,
think me there for the mating,
the taking, the ruling,
the putting me in my place.
Bottom of the pack for me
and them busy marking the horizon
with moon-held silhouettes,
throats open, yow-ow-ooooooooo
coming out. Alpha I! Alpha me!
Alpha us!
All night to anyone
who will listen. Come at them
who disobeys with teeth.

She-wolf, evening-wolf,
I am the fall of dusk, I am peripheral
to their plans. I will do better
without them and when they learn of me
they will name me bitch. I do not care
for territory – for the lifting of legs to mark.
They have a place for me I do not want.

I must thirst
I must creep
I must slink
I must eat
I must howl
I must live


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

Cover image: Thomas H via Flickr


The Learned Pig


Jane Burn

Jane Burn is a North East based artist and writer originally from South Yorkshire. Her poems have been featured in magazines such as The Rialto, Under The Radar, Butcher's Dog, Iota Poetry, And Other Poems, The Black Light Engine Room and many more, as well as anthologies from the Emma Press, Beautiful Dragons, Poetry Box and Kind of a Hurricane Press. Her pamphlets include Fat Around the Middle, published by Talking Pen and Tongues of Fire published by the BLER Press. Her first full collection, nothing more to it than bubbles has been published by Indigo Dreams. She also established the poetry site The Fat Damsel.