The Wolf

Mum and Dad stand at odd angles backs to patio doors

while Mum explains what happens next Dad moves

slowly from foot to foot and even though this is a

strange and relatively stressful situation my entire

attention is drawn to the inescapable fact that outside

in the garden there is              a wolf


none of this is my fault Mum says wiping away the fears

she hopes I don’t see Dad nods noises of agreement as

the wolf casually sniffs through border-

plants and Buddhas stretches scraggy limbs and begins

to scratch scars in the stripes of our lawn


Dad takes over wet hand on my shoulder coughs and

ceiling-stare rambles and all the while

the wolf                         gleefully snaps branch after

branch from the manicured magnolia before moving

on to the side of the shed where he tears off chunks of

creosoted wood shakes his great grey head and spits

splinters across the paving stones


I’ll get used to it they tell me we all will it’ll just take

time but I can sense bloodless destruction is at an end

the wolf                       stalks towards the patio doors

where we stand as Mum tries to hold my hand and half

hugs me Dad does the same at the same time and they

touch by mistake and recoil like salted slugs


and I feel so sorry for them because they have no idea

absolutely no idea       that      it’s too


far too late      the wolf is already



Copyright: from Let’s Chase Stars Together (Bloomsbury Education, 2022), © Matt Goodfellow 2022, used by permission of the author and publisher.

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