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

The Wolf Who Didn’t Leave

The woman cursed,
threw stones, waved
her arms in the sky.
Nothing but a blink,
a yawn, a trot
back a few feet
to sit and face
her again. Once upon
a time, the woman learned
this surge of fear
and thought she could carry on.
The woman cursed
this calm refusal
to shrink or move. But
the wolf on the beach sat
in her stillness, waiting.
When finally the woman turned
to leave, the wolf slipped into the trees,
returned with three
small pups trailing
behind her to splash
and play in the sea.
Now that you have heard
this story, what will you do
with your own
ecology of fear?

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.


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