My mother was a wild wolf
Brought me up
In the woods of winter –
Showed me how to forage for food
Small voles, white duck eggs warm with yellow yolk.
Pawed at hard red berries, soft fruits fallen from trees.
She’d sniff the air above the windfall with her snout –
Gently lift between her sharpened teeth
and devour: two chews and a swallow.
We’d trek across snow driven land. Her in front –
sheltering me from whipping winds and the tough pelt of hail –
The warmth of her thick brushy tail – my navigator
of unbeknown things, only her wolf slit eyes could see.