ZW11 First Place

Aunt Stanka Sees Wolves

George Toseski

Aunt Stanka is seeing wolves again,

This time encroaching on her stomach
as she lies in her own bed with three pillows
propping her up like a patient.

Her husband doesn’t want you to visit
when she gets this way
– maybe next week will be better.

Analytically, we all know the wolf
is her unfaithful husband
and he knows it too.

He quietly lifts a teabag from a hot cup
and cups his hands to prevent the hot
drips falling to the floor.

He shakes the pain from his hand
and wipes the moisture onto a tea-towel.

All actions are simplified by the presence
of death, pretences can no longer be maintained,
nor hatreds.

The inverse is true of the dying
who view all attempts at pleasantry
with disdain.

Aunt Stanka eyes him suspiciously as he places
the cup on her bedside table.

Outside the sound of children’s hooves
as they sprint down the corridor.


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