The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Living With Wolves by Anne Haven McDonnell

The Swimmers

After all the wolves on the island were killed by cyanide, traps, and bullets, decades later,
wolves from the mainland swam for miles to repopulate the island.

By dream, by twitch, by lope, by gazing from the shore, by howls that gather,
by circle and whine, by hint, rumor and surge, by yearn, nip, and bark,
by stretch, itch, and shake, by splash, dunk, and swim by starlight,
by bull kelp and driftwood, by calm and gelatinous sea, by stink
of whale, by salt of far, by winter fur, by paws as paddles,
by chuff and nostril huff, by steam of breath above
the sea, by belly of salmon, by hunger for deer,
by memory in blood, by roam for love,
by milk and teat, by marrow and fat,
by muscle, skull and golden eyes,
by magnetic pull, by currents
and tides, by miles, by sinking
cold, with no one watching
by sea by sea by sea.

This selection comes from Living With Wolves, available from Splitrock Review. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sunni Brown Wilkinson.

Anne Haven McDonnell lives in Santa Fe, NM where she teaches as associate professor in English and Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She migrates to the coastal northwest most summers. Her poetry has been published in Orion Magazine, The Georgia Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Alpinist Magazine,, and elsewhere. Her poems won the fifth annual poetry prize and second place for the Gingko international ecopoetry prize. @splitrockreview

Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s poetry can be found in Western Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, SWWIM, Crab Orchard Review and other journals and anthologies. She is the author of The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press 2019, finalist for the Hudson Prize) and The Ache & The Wing (forthcoming 2021, winner of Sundress’s 2020 Chapbook Prize).  She also won New Ohio Review’s NORward Poetry Prize and the 2020 Joy Harjo Prize from Cutthroat Literary Magazine. She teaches at Weber State University and lives in northern Utah with her husband and three sons.



Leave a Reply