After Visiting Grandma
After Susan B. Anthony Somers-Willett
I walk home from the bone orchard,
my fist a jaw of keys. To think
I used to know nothing of teeth.
Like any good hunter I wear the pelt of the beast –
my first boyfriend’s red hoodie.
It smells now only of cheap orange blossom perfume.
Wolf, your lads called you.
I gave you a more guttural name, blackbirds
in the hedge startled to flight
by a sudden sharpness of light. Wolf,
you monosyllable, I am fine.
Your snout on the inside of my knee,
I thought you’d always be able to sniff me out
or follow the breadcrumbs I didn’t mean to leave –
hair, skin, an eyelash or three in the campus library lift.
Someday, I like to think, I will waltz into a lover’s boudoir
and see you there in the throat of a hundred scented candles,
your wolfskin a high-end Siberian rug on the floor.
We will ride you like a magic carpet,
you will be beyond the help of any drycleaner
but for now, Wolf,
I will content myself with walking past your grandmother’s house
secretly hoping that you are in, that you’ll see me from the kitchen window
and come running with your red tongue out
so I can scream at you in the street in front of your grandmother,
your grandmother’s neighbours, and, most importantly,
you grandmother’s neighbours’ daughters,
and be blooded, be rebranded, a hag, a wild hag.
Ellora Sutton is a Creative Writing MA student from Hampshire. She won the inaugural Artlyst Art to Poetry Award, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Bridport Prize. Her debut chapbook is out now from Nightingale & Sparrow. She tweets @ellora_sutton.