The Call of the Wild

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What does a dog

know of being a wolf,

a wolf know of being a dog?

 

The wolf howls not

to understand the moon

but to know itself

in the community of nature,

 

to shout out

its place in the pack

and among the stars.

 

It knows hunger that

a dog will never know,

the desperation of the hunt,

and not a master’s command.

 

The wolf tastes the blood

of squirrel and rabbit,

the death of prey and

not the dream of it.

 

The wolf fears the spark,

the scent of the two foot,

the sound of its silver shout.

 

The dog knows its leash,

the comfort of the hearth,

the happy dreams that

come with a full stomach,

 

the fetch of a duck in its mouth

and not its curor,

the squeak of velveteen prey.

 

Even the dingo of the bush

scavenges for its food and

maybe dreams of human kindness

and living beneath his beams.

 

The dog shelters with him

and does not swelter

in the fury of the sun.

 

The dog knows God

through the hand of man.

The wolf knows no God

and scorns its inverted pet.

 

The wolf needs not good dogs.

It need only to be a good or bad wolf,

to heed the call of the wild.

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