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Poetry by Kate Healey

We Are The Wolves
Published January 7, 2017
Eleventh Transmission.
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We Are the Wolves

We are the wolves, & what is our legacy?
We are the wolves, and what will become of us?
The ulcers converging in our stomachs are as relentless and stress
     induced as forty years ago.
The impeccably decorated and meticulous home does not negate the one in
which you were born.
Nor is it my own.
All of these contradictions born of guilt and scarred over shame
become inflamed like sunburned scar tissue.
The hostility!
The rats in the pantry.
The ceiling caving in, chipping off in toupee sized bits of plaster.
The shit of your schizophrenic brother smeared on the toilet seat.
The cigarettes extinguished in archaic tea cups in the sink.
The piss on the floor.
The smell of molten garbage in the summer heat.
The mason jar of cigarette snipes, a manifestation of Great Depression Era
hoarder mentality.
The babies asleep on burlap mats, repurposed patio chair cushions.
The children’s feet blackened from the bare floor boards, thin like an old
     man’s thighs.
The statues of the Virgin Mother watching all of those devout babies crying.
The hemorrhaging blood of the 8th born.
The baby Jesus himself, framed and hung, witnessing two generations of
mental collapse,
pace up and down the dark hallway, all mumbles and machetes.
Fabric much too thin for winter.
The hairbrushes, belts, stinging singing Hotwheels race tracks raised above
you, poised to descend.
The wolves, the wolves, the wolves.
The pigeons, boarded and dying in the exterior wall.
The beer battered jaundiced eyes balls.
The refused dinner becoming breakfast, cold as lard and the patriarch’s
The mattresses of the third floor, stripped of sheets and adorned with
     cigarette burns:
emblems of shame of the dozing junky.
The band practicing in the basement,
anguish reverberating up through the heating ducts,
as I lay there, four years old, with my eyes fixed on the filth of the
knowing the sound resonated within me.
Knowing that I was one of the wolves.
Oh the viciousness of resilient love, oh the wolves we do become.

Kate Healey is a perpetual pedestrian who spends most of her time
wandering the woods with her dog and a notebook.
Eleventh Transmission Projects
45 Poems: Reflection & Response

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