Today's poem is by Paul Breslin

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Oh, they'd scold me. But then
my mother would brew some tea
and they'd loosen their boots
to talk for hours in the parlor
of stock and crops, the flood
rwenty years back; the uncle
who'd come back from the war
one-legged, the aunt
who ran off with the tenor.

I heard each word from my room,
where I was banished to bed
without supper. As long as they talked,
the world held promise and danger.

And then it was empty.
I tended sheep
as they shambled at random,
grazing and piling up dung.
The sun had moved, I could see it,
but from mid morning
(when dew dried on the grass)
to just before sunset (when gnats
began turning like dust-motes
over the pasture stream)
nothing but shadows changed.

Was I shaking with fear
or joy that the wolf
finally came? When its teeth
ripped through the arm
I was raising to ward it off,
I wanted nothing—
only my life, already
pouring brightly away.

Copyright © 2014 Paul Breslin All rights reserved
from Between My Eye and the Light
TriQuarterly Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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