In the Time of Wolves

wolf-725380_1920Lately it’s been hard to get out of bed, much less write. But I managed to funnel all of my anger, disappointment, sorrow, confusion, and fear into a poem. It still feels kind of raw, this newly hatched work. But then, given what’s been going on in this country the past few weeks, perhaps that’s the point.

So here it is. In all its raw and nasty glory.




I’ll admit I didn’t bother to read it before. I squeezed
into a white pantsuit, took my daughter to vote.
Said be sure to remember this day, then visited
the park so she could swing. Didn’t think twice
when stroller-pushing moms in yoga pants
stared at me instead of her. We were both
flying high.

As sparkling wine chilled, the country burned red,
a wildfire of hate ignited by a gilded joke gone bad.
Cried myself to sleep, woke to a world unrecognized.
Everything an assault. A friend said how bad
could it be? I steeled myself, read the so-called
plan, and saw in its words a second destruction
worse than fire.

No Environmental Protection Agency.
No Endangered Species Act.
No Superfund.
No clean air or water.

I knew it would be bad, but not this,
not whole-scale destruction, not gang rape
of Mother Earth. It’s tragedy of the commons e
except this time corporations are people.
We’ll be the starving sheep. Great Spirit,
forgive us. We know not what we do. The words
strangled me.

No climate change.
No Paris Treaty.
No shift from fossil fuels.
Just coal, oil, shale and drill, drill, drill.

They will be hunting now, tracking wolves
in Yellowstone. Some had already been shot,
but now it’s open season. In the harsh years
since relocation, the wolves have adapted,
grown wary of roads, men, traps, and guns, yet
somehow improve whatever they touch—
unlike us.

Wolves have multiplied, spread as far as Oregon.
A lone male crossed into California, rediscovered
the Sierras. I take comfort in this, picture him
slipping through silent forests, scaling wind-swept
ridges, sleeping fearless beneath the stars,
searching, always searching, for a place
to call home.


Hang in there, my friends. We’ll get through this. Somehow….

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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