The Gunnywolf at Midcareer

by Megan Snyder-Camp

Megan Snyder-Camp

The Gunnywolf wants a nom de guerre,
a cape. Something to set him apart.
He’s been working as a Celtic fiddler
for thirty years now. Half wolf
half fish, he writes on his blog,
up to sixty laps a day in the pool.
Can really feel the difference in his lungs.
He’s out of the woods now
living back east, near his folks.
I remember the smell of him
in our rented house. Up the stairs
late at night after a show, into the back
where my mother was. After her
he went to France and taught the zither.
Before he left he drove me home
in his paper-filled car. He liked to drive
with his knees. My friend was in the back
and as we passed the city jail
the wolf was telling a story
that kept going about how everyone
had loved his encore. Christmas
his big time. He liked to fold himself
into small spaces, he loved
a crowd. Our hatchback
slid across four lanes
and the cars around us made room.
We unspooled as he sang it back to us.
Near the center barrier my friend called out
and he swerved us back
and told me I’d never make it, never
find what it takes to make real art
because to do that you need to let
your little coffee cup life go?—?the car
was full of cups and he smashed them
one by one against the windshield,
the windows, the wheel.

Last updated September 24, 2022