Johanna Boal

When I Have Eaten Wolf

I always like a bit more salt when I cook Wolf!?
I don’t mean a large saucepan of boiling water like the story – The Three Little Pigs
I’m talking about salt in terms of preservation – respect for the Wolf.

Its highly social structures of ranking like a nuclear family
establishing territories far more than it needs to survive. The wolf is a stalker,
a nuisance, powers of endurance follow their target day and night.

Its octave, the spine-tingling howl, creepy an almost sound of out of tune
in the wilderness; bears sleep in the deep forest and mountains,
the legendary Wolf high up on the food chain is not afraid.

A cooked-up story; historically tried by people and burnt at the stake
for its intelligence and flexibility, and I relish in the Wolf,
notorious villain of fables and fairy stories that outwitted man.


Johanna lives in East Yorkshire and works in the libraries for the East Riding Council. She has been widely published with poems featuring in Ink, Sweat and Tears, The High Window, Poetry Space and more. Johanna’s debut pamphlet is published by Poetry Space, Bristol.