The Gray Wolf

by Douglas Pugh
The Write Idea
Second Place, October 2012
Judged by Polina Barskova


his skin no longer
binds muscles

rather, these days, he basks
in the setting sun

sucking old marrow between old tales
though sometimes
he can see doubt in the cubs’ eyes

nothing fits any more,
teeth drop from sockets,
legs from hips

why even the ground is not shaped to him,
argues against his nestle

though the naps seem longer
and the days short

the sun is setting
awkwardly

on a new trail


Very sparse, non-sentimental poem. Its beauty is in its absence of overwriting. The poem perfectly follows in form its matter--brutal, minimalistic. And the conversation about the animal is convincingly bridged to/moves into the landscape. --Polina Barskova

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block