“The Last Wolf” by Mary TallMountain
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
The Last Wolf
The last wolf hurried toward me through the ruined city and I heard his baying echoes down the steep smashed warrens of Montgomery Street and past the ruby-crowned highrises left standing their lighted elevators useless Passing the flicking red and green of traffic signals baying his way eastward in the mystery of his wild loping gait closer the sounds in the deadly night through clutter and rubble of quiet blocks I hear his voice ascending the hill and at last his low whine as he came floor by empty floor to the room where I sat in my narrow bed looking west, waiting I heard him snuffle at the door and I watched He trotted across the floor he laid his long gray muzzle on the spare white spread and his eyes burned yellow his small dotted eyebrows quivered Yes, I said. I know what they have done.
from Light on a Tent Wall, 1990
University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Copyright 1990 by Mary TallMountain.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of University of California from Light on a Tent Wall, 1990. Copyright 1990 by Mary TallMountain. For further permissions information, contact University of California, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548.
About the Poet
Mary TallMountain (1918-1994), a Native Alaskan writer and elder who lived for many years in San Francisco, was the author of three poetry collections, one if which was published posthumously by Freedom Voices in 1995, entitled Listen to the Night.
Learn more about Mary TallMaountainat Freedom Voices.