The Mother Hyena Will Eat Her Cub and Murder the Single Father

To T.

              Waterbury, VT (2013)


They can smell the blood on you…


…as wound from earlier scuffles, and zero in,

circle you in the dark—the single mother and her pride—

ready for the kill:

the easy, wounded kill

the poor, single father—

blood is thick in the air—

permeates the surrounding darkness,

the muddled wilderness,

like a fog light


swaying to and fro,

in sync to the poor father’s heartbeat—


the single-parent scavenger: hunting despite having just fed


mother hyena, absent:

brittle; a sallow waste

Malnourished by the years

away from the boy








She circles and circles

the harshly lit playground;

the single father falters

and is brought down.


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