Dead Grey Wolf Skins by Michael Lee Johnson

(Tribute Aldo Leopold)

Dead grey wolf skins hang
on white clotheslines across Baraboo, Wisconsin
the dark surface, side of the moon,
that only exists in memories hung high, long before.
Hunters in the past did their job well,
sold skins, collected a few bucks,
increased deer for hunting, saved cattle,
decreased fear, told tales, short stories, adventures.

The grey wolf face now emergent,
opens his mouth wide in the safety
open in blue sky.
Shows his white teeth against
background of black sky, shadow,
hears thunder again, releases
fireflies at night, monarch butterflies
during the day, guts down pine tree spikes.
He walks once again over landscapes of turquoises.
He consumes dirt road dust, 119 miles to Milwaukee.
His keen eyes are sharp for growth of skyscraper, Pabst Building.
Traveling side roads over many years brings him to the present.
No more violators, hunters with guns, fake Jesus people
slender in His bathrobe Christ repeats two fishes, 5 loaves.

Aldo Leopold feeding inmate in small jail cells, only kills a few for research.
Aldo a Saint of conservation a consumer of cigarettes and butts,
heart wings of doves attached, broken, stroke fire, a neighbor field
heart stroke drops into history.

About Michael Lee Johnson

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