Goodbye to the September wolves,
their eyes dazed with fear,
jowls taut with the incense of threat.
They protect themselves and their pack,
tails tucked between their legs,
and ears ready for any pitch.
There is only so much water
in the pool and they mean to keep it.
Goodbye to the September wolves
and their breathing of unholy prayers.
Their killings leave no room for
the ambivalence of tenderness.
But when the helicopter comes
and the rifle empties into the horde
the pack scurries, each with a jowl that
flaps against the unforgiving wind.
Brenda Bishop Blakey
(Photo of my calendar from the Defenders of Wildlife. Here is the blurb that appears on the calendar: Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. For more than 30 years, Defenders of Wildlife has been involved in conserving wolf populations in Alaska, and has stood in opposition to the aerial hunting of wolves here.)
The highlighted words in the poem come from Sunday whirl