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

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block