Wolves were here

when these woods crept

to the precarious edge of town.

How their tails would fly

at each season’s count

pinned on the walls of barns!

So men cleared all their troubles out.

Those dark dens are dooryards now;

the foliage of the wilderness is trimmed;

the last murky swamp, solid ground.

New wolves wait, a more patient breed,

at the other end of the well-trod stairs,

behind the smiles for the cocktail hour,

in proper rooms of barren mien,

along the streets in the glare of noon

and if we look quick,

the mirrors still catch

the ceaseless watch

of their lidless stare.

Kirby Congdon

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