The Wolf God
by Anne Carson
Like a painting we will be erased, no one can remain.
I saw my life as a wolf loping along the road
And I questioned the women of that place.
Some regard the wolf as immortal, they said.
Now you know this only happened in one case and that
Wolves die regularly of various causes—
Bears kill them, tigers hunt them,
They get epilepsy,
They get a salmon bone crosswise in their throat,
They run themselves to death no one knows why—
But perhaps you never heard
Of their ear trouble.
They have very good ears,
Can hear a cloud pass overhead.
And sometimes it happens
That a windblown seed will bury itself in the aural canal
They go mad trying to stand upright,
Nothing to link with.
Die of anger.
Only one we know learned to go along with it.
He took small steps at first.
Using the updrafts.
They call him Huizkol,
Looks Good in Spring.
Things are as hard as you make them.
(Image: Kiki Smith, “Companions,” 2001.)