Gargoyle 11
cover etching by Scott McIntyre
publication date 5/25/1979

The Hungry Wolves

Wilson Stapleton


jackie gave everything she had
to brotherhood; she gave
her love, her bod’; she wrote poems
with her guts, and these she gave: she didn’t ask

for love; for love was not hers to ask: she gave
until the giving hurt: her man
loved her ’til he was sure
& then dropped her: dropped her hard: when she

miscarriaged her kid, he aborted his love: sure,
she gave, but the giving wasn’t good
enough: the hungry wolves
saw her love & wanted more:

the hungry wolves didn’t want her giving, her asking
her cries of love, the becoming of to love,
the i am of to love
they didn’t want

her poems, her wet unborn, her life, her job
they wanted her fire, her essence, her love ’til she had
nothing more
to give. the hungry wolves

howled their fear sodden lament, as she fled
a ghost’s smile
into the evening of an october moon.


annie talked of love
with a jukebox’s terseness

saying the i love you words
mechanically. seeing said

her love was hollow sounds that heard hands
& coins; that saw pockets and feet:

an emptiness: she said love
too many times, once over

her record would wait
for your coin, undone

she would wait
for empty rooms to fill.


laura got married.
to stay: the price was one sister,
one child.


the drummer’s girl, sam
left brotherhood
to do her own thing.

she came back though . . .
silently the hungry wolves watch her.