From ‘Wolfwatching’ by Ted Hughes (1989)

wolves 2


Have worn him away. Children’s gazings

Have tattered him to a lumpish

Comfort of woolly play wolf. He’s weary.

All his power is a tangle of old ends,

A jumble of leftover scraps and bits of energy

And bitten-off impulses and dismantled intuitions.

He can’t settle.


And here

Is a young wolf, still intact,

He knows how to lie, with his head,

The Asiatic eyes, the gunsights

Aligned effortless in the beam of his power.

He closes his pale eyes and is easy,

Bored easy. His big limbs

Are full of easy time. He’s waiting

For the chance to live, then he’ll be off.



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