Whitney Bushey


Wolf Dreamer

She lies ensnared,

Thrashing in sweat drenched sheets

That welt and bite her rioting limbs,

Like a choke collar around the neck of rebellious pup.

A desperate twist, she tears free,

Crumpling to the scarping raw carpet.

Her head curled to her breast, she runs

The squared halls of a homely labyrinth.

Until she stumbles into the cold embrace

Of blanketing silver moonlight,

Earning the acclaim of night crickets,

And the bows of yearling pines.

Her wood brown eyes, burn

To a bright yellow flame.

As she sheds every artificial fiber,

Growing a suite of storm grey.

Her bones wrinkle and kink,

Fingers claw at warm earth, changing.

A silt lurking larva, spurning lake bottom's comforts,

To be a raptor dragonfly, if only for a lone day.

Shaped in the centuries of savagery,

Her lupine song of blood,

Brings even the great spheres

To a pause with arresting wild melody.

She runs!

Streaking through yielding Bracken.

The great pulsing heart of earth,

Drummed in every pounding paw step.

As she submerges into a sea of oaks, birches, ash and pine.

A living surf of foliage, cresting in the wind.

With the sharp scent of evergreen,

And the phantom wail of horned owl.

Until the twig snap of unwary paw step,

Swivels her arrowhead ears.

Every muscle, a taunt bow string,

Merely awaiting the master's command.

Her spine ripples,

A restrained branch slashing foreword,

After the white flash

Of a prophet rabbit, venerable and all contained.

The questing huntress, the thirsting predator,

Gives chase, through the seasons of bounty,

Brilliant death, frozen slumber,

And muddy renewal.

Life's quest ends in death,

Teeth rip into gentile flesh.

Scarlet ribbons stream down her cruel jaw,

Only to sink back to breathing soil.

She has killed, but not for death's icy maw,

Or in a fog of crimson bestial lust.

But for a life, grater then her own.

For the rabbit still lives behind her amber eyes.

Her stride stirs tiny seedlings,

Tarnished silver fur polishing young leaflets

While she glides through reborn undergrowth.

A nagging tug, as if a strand of yarn was looped about her tail.

A distant stirring on a side table, in a world forgotten.

A shrieking alarm, cuts away her forest, like an axe,

Cleaving off a limb, she awakens to a mangled bed,

A spittle crusted pillow, and a swarm of buzzing trivialities.

A dream, a passing fantasy, it might have been.

But where does the difference lie,

Between dream and memory?

For only she can see

Paw-prints on the floor.