Werewolf: The Beast of Backbiting

I wrote this after learning from Shawn that many of his views of me were based on what other, unnamed people were saying about me, things that were not true.  I will be posting this in the next installment of my college memoirs.  It surprised my fellow Poetry classmates, and the editors of the campus literary magazine expressly asked for it:

They’re a werewolf.
Each lie’s a tooth
in a long mouth full.
Long fur of self-righteousness,
shadow-black.
Pointed ears prick at the agreement
of others of its kind.
Watchful, red eyes.
Help me, help me,
it careers after me!
It roars, cracking the air–
Foul, hot breath of judgments.
You have the gun;
I grab your sleeve.
Shoot it!  Kill it!

Once it had you,
tearing with dagger-claws,
ripping for your heart,
to make you one of them.
I shot the gun,
scared it away.
I tended your wounds,
plucked out a broken claw,
an implant of perceptions.
Your hand flew up from pain,
knocking the claw to my chest,
scratching me, though no blood drawn.

Now shoot a silver bullet of truth–
The werewolf falls,
eyes fixed, in death, in surprise.
But it rises again,
snarls, fangs bared,
saliva oozing.
Its pride is hurt.
You shoot again, hit the shoulder.
The beast rages, lunges.
You shoot once more, hit the heart.
With a pitiful whimper and a gush of blood,
the beast dies.

“I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, though since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.”

This line often runs through my head after breakups or other separations from loved ones. 

Just remove the part about passion, and keep “since you left, the white rose bush has died of grief,” and it can apply to friends and family just as easily. 

I put it on my Facebook profile for some time after the friendship breakup with Richard, to express my grief.

It is my favorite line from Peter Firth in the 80s rendition of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey:

(Sorry for the bad quality: It’s apparently the only video the BBC has not bumped off Youtube.)

It’s not in the book, only in this movie, but it’s so poetic that I wish Jane Austen had written it herself.

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