My Sister and the Wolves

Kim Moore (Barrow-in-Furness, UK)

KimMoorewebLiz Berry: I found myself returning again and again to this poem and it's delightfully odd, dark story which is very cleverly developed and sustained. It gets better and better as it goes on, until we reach that fantastic, wild final image. Bravo!







My Sister and the Wolves

It's been a year since my sister began

to live with wolves. Each night the sound

of their slow breathing fills her house

and in the morning they sing her awake.

All the wolves who live outside belong to her

and all the ones in houses or chained up

in yards and left to howl, all those roaming

the woods, all of these are her children.

She thinks of nothing but wolf. She is all

fields and long coats and hiking boots,

she is all concern at the mice in the shed,

nibbling away at the bags of wolf food,

but it is only wolves that make her heart ache.

She is all clanging gates and kennels

hosed down with water, she spends her life

on the phone to strangers, negotiating

wolf adoptions, convincing families

to take one wolf into their home,

but warning them that with every wolf,

they are also adopting the Moon

and the Night and the Dark, that all

of these things live in the heart

of every wolf she has met. My sister

has room for wolves that are dying,

she has room for wolves that have bitten

small children, she has room for wolves

that don't know their name, she has room

for wolves that are killers of things

like sheep and rabbits and pain.

She takes in wolves that piss

when somebody speaks, wolves

that have never seen a staircase,


wolves that have never walked

on a carpet, wolves whose owners

are bored or stupid or simply vanish.

She takes in wolves of all shapes and sizes


but she does not take in me.

I call to her but no sound I make

will still be made of words by the time

its crossed the distance between us.


She's moving further and further away.

Last night she was just a cut out on a hill,

the pack at her heels, the sky burning

and I knew she did not belong to me.







poem © Kim Moore