Sharp Teeth

A flash of amber eyes
in the twilight of the woods
is answered with a growl
from my own throat.
I don’t claim to be a good
mother, but I can howl
and have a fierce heart,
red as a hood.
I gather them in the heat
of my lupine love again,
child and grandchild safe
at the sagging teats
of an ageing alpha female,
together in grandmother’s den.

Kim M. Russell, 4th November 2019

Image result for paintings and artwork alpha female wolf with cubs
Image found on Pinterest

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Wordy Monday with Wild Woman: The Wolf Mother

Sherry shares a passage from The Memory Palace by Mira Bartók, which she says is one of the best memoirs she’s ever read. It describes the wolf mother beautifully. Sherry says the passage really speaks to her and wonders where it takes us: to wolf families vanishing from the landscape, starving, losing their habitat, and their lives to a hunter’s gun; or to the mothers we have lost.

Sherry asks us to answer the wolf’s call with poems about wilderness and wolves, domesticity and mothers, daughters and sons, or our own fierce love for our children.

23 thoughts on “Sharp Teeth

  1. Such a strong lineage. I particularly liked “I don’t claim to be a good mother” as it draws in the idea of the big bad wolf. But in this instance it is the wolf’s protectiveness that saves the child and grandchild while in the woods. It feels like an interesting twist to the red riding hood nursery rhyme and the role of grandmother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many mammals have this family support from the grandmothers (includining our own) which maintains a family bond over the years. I always feel sad for the wolves, foxes and dingos have been given a bad name merely by them being independent rather than be subservient to humans. Great poem Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robin. My parents were lived with my grandparents when I was born. my grandparents had also supported friends and family who were bombed out or were refugees during the war. I lived with my grandparents while my parents worked hard at their broken marriage and my grandmother was always my tower of strength.


  3. This is wonderfully warm and loving Kim. Beautiful write. I keep my children and grandson ever in my loving and protective embrace. I would risk injury, even death to protect them — I ‘ve done it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t claim to be a good
    mother, but I can howl
    and have a fierce heart,
    red as a hood.

    I love the whole movement and intention of these lines. So good!


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