Mother, Wolf

A poem

Wolf around my neck
snarling teeth, and red army gums
protecting in the night
when the bad witch comes

I call my wolf, mother
for, she was there
when babushka thread daisies
in my yellow hair

suckled at the teat
when the larder was stark
holding her fur tight
in the dark, dark, dark

shes not a real mother
but, she was there
when babushka pushed up daisies
in the soil, bare

she is my second face
snapping at the crooked nose
as Baba Yaga crept
on boney legs from the shadows

she is my strength
and she was there
when I burnt down the hut
smelt Yaga, in the air

now, all the witches
and the chicken legs
run from my hunger
as the wolf eats their eggs.

© Darius the Mate

Baba Yaga
by Ivan Bilibin
Vasilisa the Beautiful, at the Hut of Baba Yaga by Lily Seika Jones

Written for the The Sunday Muse.

With the picture provided by Shay, at its base, I tapped into the Slavic folklore tales of Baba Yaga, the infamous witch with the taste for children’s flesh, who is said to live in a hut on chicken legs.


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21 thoughts on “Mother, Wolf

  1. “she is my second face..” the voice here is genuine and vulnerable, and full of that desire to even the odds, protect oneself, live through the worst to have one’s revenge on the destroyers. I especially love the setting you’ve used. I have used that very pic myself (and many other) Bilbin illustrations, and no one painted the fairy tale world darker or more perfectly atmospheric. Baba Yaga on chicken legs, in a house that could stalk you (and I’m convinced,peck out your heart) is a thousand times scarier than a gingerbread house. Also love the babushkas. Made my morning.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Baba Yaga appearing in your poem, along with all the other cool images…….I lived for fourteen years with a wolf, so absolutely love this poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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