by Lynn Hardaker

who is this wolf i lie beside

under moon-cold sheets 

in the mossy darkness left

by the swallowed sun. 

my hands explore,

straying from the path 

of needles and wildflowers

into the deeper ways of the wood.  

i press one to his belly—

all stretched skin, grizzled hair—

and other hands reach out,

try to take hold of mine.

when he wasn’t looking 

i left a bowl of meat 

at the foot of the bed

just in case.

in front of the fire

is a bodiless, russet pile:  

the parts of me which 

didn’t make it into the flames.

we did drink the wine though. 

i smashed the empty bottle 

against the stone mantlepiece 

though i can’t quite remember why.

now i wonder

how long will he stay

this half-tamed wolf

whom i lured in 

with new honed wiles.

how long before i send him away

tail between his legs, 

furs gathered hastily in his arms

belly not quite full to bursting. 

or maybe this time he won’t get away

won’t go looking for other maidens or old women

maybe this time 

i will devour him raw.


Lynn Hardaker is a Canadian writer and artist currently living in Regensburg, Germany. Her poems and short stories have appeared in journals including Mythic Delirium, Not One of Us, and Goblin Fruit. She is currently working on a middle grade cozy mystery set in a small English village in 1924.