Never Marry a Werewolf by Mary Ann Honaker

Never Marry a Werewolf

We were in the car laughing,
probably at some bad pun
one of us had quipped. You
with the daylight spritzing

your blonde tresses, a smile
reminding me of our first date—
to see Star Trek: Nemesis,
to this day a favorite of mine—

when you said, “I’m not a goth
because of this: see,” and grinned,
pointing at your own face.
But at this moment in the car

I was trying to ignore the wolf
gnawing my liver. My wolf
had come for us, and I knew
it would make me run

into the night alone, soon.
But then we were laughing,
you full of electric crackle,
me sounding to myself

like clanging inside
an empty bucket. Part
of me cherishing this last
laugh together of a past

full of inside jokes
and code phrases, part
mourning the wolf’s hunger,
the rending it would require.

by Mary Ann Honaker

Twitter: @MaryAnnHonaker1

Editor’s Note: This poem’s emotional narrative runs beneath and inside the outward scene, mirroring the difficulty of the human condition with all of its wild origins.

Battle Run by Mary Ann Honaker

Battle Run

Battle Run Campground: 110 campsites
with public washrooms & laundry,
named for a Civil War site
where the two sides killed & bled

in a field with an unfortunate house
dead center. You can see an old cannon,
walk the grounds, peer through holes
piercing the home’s walls.

I pedaled my Pink Panther bike
down the paved lanes between sites
my mind constructing cloud castles
that all but covered my eyes.

Mal de aire: when the atmosphere
grows dense with the evil weighing it.
But I was a child & the day drowsed
in gentle clarity & in the lake sun

glittered upward to her sister
in the sky. My brother sped up to me,
skidded his BMX to a stop,
his face full of night, of knowing.

There’s a man following you
driving slowly in his car.
Paul wrote that if we could see
the spirits in the air around us,

we’d be terrified. Follow me,
my brother hissed, & we cut
across the grass as fast
as our spindly legs could propel us,

crossing paved paths,
shooting between campers
while startled dads glanced up
from their grills, mothers

paused pinning tablecloths
to picnic tables. We dropped
our bikes in gravel, scurried
into the safety of our green pop-up.

Mom stayed inside with us.
Dad drove the grounds
looking for the car, told the man
at the check-in booth to watch,

& then we returned to hot dogs, S’mores,
catching fireflies, sleeping
in beds suspended over bloody ground,
as if the world was not the world it is.

by Mary Ann Honaker

Editor’s Note: Sometimes, the best part of a narrative poem is the last line. This poem’s close invites a great deal of contemplation.