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Defying a Wolf

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

Intimidation is only a misconstrued fear, from creatures lurking behind grisly forests and excused by those that pretend it’s ‘fine’ to hide in plain sight. Observing the finest of details that nature permits you to see, where the poise you seek is far from abundant out in this wilderness.

When you walk around the willows in your backyard, or glance over from your backseat window. You can’t scroll past the mountains jutting along the highway, remaining witness to fragility and impurities that we’ve wreaked upon it.

Light pollution, petroleum, and — oh boy, your favorite — coal, with the sheen of a Pontiac and spitting more metals than Death Grips. Rinsed in a blank calm, the city’s chaos eludes any witness at these suburbs and rural countryside alike.

If you stand outside on a brisk February morning, you can see the crawl of your breath as it vaporizes the atmosphere. Are you ready to enter the clouds, to maneuver through the curved plateaus? Notice that your feet cannot yet ascend from the ground?

It is not the mud or blades of grass holding off their grip; however, it may be soft, all 360 degrees of your intuition that is. The view is unworthy to be looked up and down, imagine yourself finding a place far more astonishing than where you are at this moment.

Midday dew has yet to infiltrate the air, which tries to trickle onto your layers of warmth. Your boots are brushed with debris while deer scavenge for berries behind bushes. Look at them, their eyes display more fear from your presence than vice versa or ursa major.

So the twitch of your foot waveringly stands whereas your comfort outsteps its limit. Is that a… no, ‘tis a wolf — your curiosity emerges to dominate over other sensations and doubt.

Kneel down to your feet, watch it move towards you.

Inch upon inch (twelfth removed each foot squared). Clench your eyes and fists, bite down on your lips so you can taste the blood trickling between your teeth — don’t let the discomfort envelop your inquisitiveness. There it is. A gem of this magnificent mystique, sinkingly scorched primal from birth.

Beneath are tasseled roots that mute the heart palpitations and irregular beats of the beloved pack. Alpha or not, this wolf protects with its eyes (look into those damn blue eyes) squared on the reckless alpines. Don’t hold back or blink. It is gone now, all of it.

You are back home, warped by the illusion of the universe I pulled you in. You’re the wolf whom the world misconceives — yet, your lived experiences in retrospect help those that come along.

Those that can delve deeper into the forest brush and tolerate plenty of the cawing above, wails of taupe ravens that unnerve most. Let them uncover their ears and stare into your yellow-rimmed irises.


Nicole Verbitsky is a 20 year-old writer from Northeast PA. A writer of bittersweet poems and the seldom short story, she also serves as a poetry editor for The Lunar Journal. At this time, her work appears in Neverland Lit and upcoming in voidspace zine. Her hobbies include overanalyzing media and reading with music in the background.


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