William Trowbridge

Wolf
January 10, 2013 Trowbridge William

Wolf

 

Ink black, shark toothed, slithering

serpentine off the cover of my album

Peter and the Wolf, he paced beneath

 

the stairs in our dark basement when

I’d slip down after dinner to marvel

at the old cathedral radio, with its glowing

 

green eye, and study Dad’s forbidden

stash of 40’s girlie mags, the only

light switch a string from a bare bulb

 

in the center of the room, which I’d

have to reach before the wolf clamped on.

In the story, he swallowed the poor

 

jabbering duck alive. You could see her

on the album cover, contrite and silent

in his belly. The radio picked up music

 

clear from Rio, rumbas and sambas

fading in and out as the TV muttered on

upstairs — the green light’s gaze,

 

like an all-seeing eye’s, the wolf’s

greedy breathing, and me

thumbing pages in the light’s asylum

 

as boldface invitations from the spreads

in Whisper, Show, and Eyeful

raised the fuzzy wolf hairs on my neck.

William Trowbridge’s ninth poetry collection, Call Me Fool, will be published by Red Hen Press in the fall of 2022.  He is a mentor in the University of Nebraska Omaha Low-residency MFA in Writing Program and was Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2012 to 2016. For more information, see his web site williamtrowbridge.net.