the winter wolves

Animal, Wolf

alpha wolf’s soulful call rides the bitter northeasterly wind
drifting between the driven snowflakes
through the tall dark timbers
into the stream valley, half-frozen and lonely
picked up, then finally returned by its mate
poised on the distant hilltop

only the ravens are brave enough
to allow the shrill howls pass over them directly
for them it is music for their teasing dance
to distract the wolves
breaking their concentration long enough
to grab leftovers from the wolves’ evening hunt

finally the hard white moonlight
ignites the pack’s glaring gold eyes
twelve unflinching beacons in all
eventually all voices are heard
and the haunting amber eyes disappear
having reclaimed the conifer forest for another night