The Ones You Love

photo by Sara Wright, 26 February 2015
photo by Sara Wright, 26 February 2015

 

The Ones You Love

People you love
build a small house for you,
cover the dirt floor with hay,
hook a long chain to the cowhide
that circles your throat,
fix the chain to a stake in their yard.

In the day, the cut grasses hear you howl;
at night, they make a nest for your body.

You go nowhere.
You could lie down and die,
but someone wants you kept alive,
a cheap security system.

Years of this and then one full-moon night,
suddenly you hear them —
the motley wolf-coyote clan.
They’re calling
from the far side of the creek,
and you’re answering.

Break the chain, they say,
and you do.

– Harriet Ann Ellenberger, October 2014

Continue reading The Ones You Love

The Teacher

The Teacher

When we howl, children,
we give it all we’ve got.
Think power, think passion,
send your voice over the mountain,
“I am here, where are you?”

Everyone ready?
Deep breath—
fill out those lungs to the ribcage—
ears back,
nose to the sky,
now yearn! yearn! yearn!
and re-lee-ee-ee-ease.

You just scared the pants off those two-leggeds
down in the valley.

Harriet Ann Ellenberger
25 March 2015