15 February 2010 | Vol. 9, No. 4
The wind in the beginning
meant the crying
inside the blackened lanterns
could carry a rare measure of music.
into the forest, we already heard
the stolen horses
whinnying within the ending.
The forest, of course,
was a story. The horses,
of course, slant rhymed
because the horses were really wolves.
Yes, it was a clever disguise,
the way the riddle—or at least a way to solve
it—could be hidden
within the bread.
There were also birds
within the loaves,
love among the wolves' guts,
salve inside them
when someone guessed the riddle wrong.
We broke open the bread,
listening to the body within it.
And the body cried,
Please, burn me in effigy.
But there were still other animals
rusting within the forest:
within the flared bells
of three flugel horns.
Wolves wore sheep's wool
woven brightly on a small loom.
The sparrows chirped
warp and weft while the wolves'
woof echoed through the forest.
asleep by a stream snatched wildly
at their hair. Dreaming of fire,
the flames contained a song
released from their heat when doused
down to cinders with milk.
It was the same fire
that once inhabited the lanterns,
a brute choir unleashed
among the trees. Can you
hear it now? Listen to
the whinnying. Listen to the sad,
sad wind breathing within it.
About the author:
Brennen Wysong's poems are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, the Corduroy Mtn., Word For/Word, New CollAge Magazine, and Bateau Press. He has published poems in GlitterPony, Denver Quarterly, Fourteen Hills, Xantippe, and other journals. He live in New York City with his wife, Debra, and son, Calder Birch.