Russian Grandmother Kills Wolf With Bare Hands and an Axe

Abigail Zimmer

Left with a bandaged hand and a living calf
which she calls dumb one and my sweet,
stroking between its milk eyes, the woman
is not surprised to see November fall upon
the yard, snow steaming from an empty body.
It happened in quiet, rounding a corner
to spot the familiar crouch and intention,
how her father’s face snarls at her so many
years later, how the first blow slid beneath
the shoulder blade, how the palm reader said
“Do not become red,” how we dig feet in
and hold and who will win? She who is called
grandmother and neighbor on the next
farm over, the lost names of daughter and
malyutka. She who licks away fear and closes
the gate. This wolf like all wolves,
this hand a perfect fist in a field of statues.

About the Work

Abigail Zimmer

Abigail Zimmer is an MFA Poetry candidate at Columbia College Chicago where she teaches first year writing. Her work is forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, Black Tongue Review, and Foothill.

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