The white wolf,
the one who comes out
of the woods in the northeast,
pads into the circle
between two ash trees in leaf.
She doesn’t say anything.
I don’t raise my hand.
She stretches at my left hand,
head turned to the side,
head in the grass,
her breath moving the blades of grass.
And like old lovers
we sit that way for a long time.
By my foot, at the base of the tree,
someone has left a compass,
dented on the top,
with a needle that doesn’t spin.
I hear you laugh,
saying, whichever way,
we can never be wrong.
Not now in the shade of the white ash,
the one that cools,
the one for damp-heat, for childbirth,
not now where the wild wood ends,
where small waves rustle like aspen,
where water gently rocks the coracle
I held your head in my lap
in my wickerwork lap,
like a nest of white-gold birds,
like ribbons of smoking resin,
cupped, cradled, out of the wind.
I close the book I was reading.
I close the thin red cover of the book
and bind it with a leather cord.
We sit there for a long time,
humming wolf songs,
and you know when I have left
because you have never left.