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2 poems by Andrew Pidoux

In Her Element

She was a wolf in the snow.

She liked being a wolf in the snow.

It suited her being a wolf in the snow

because she was a wolf in the snow.

The snow liked having her in it, and she liked

being in the snow. The wolf in her liked

it and she liked it, because the wolf in her

and her were one and the same. She was

a wolf in the snow. And the footprints she

made in the snow were wolfish ones

and both the wolf in her and the snow in her

liked the wolfish footprints she made

and sometimes when she was wolfing

through the snow she would see

snow falling in front of her face and behind

her back and covering her wolfish footprints

but she didn’t mind because it only meant

that she could make fresh wolfish footprints

and making fresh wolfish footprints was what

she loved to do: she was a wolf in the snow.

And once she tried not being a wolf

in the snow but it didn’t suit her at all;

the footprints she made weren’t wolfish

ones and the snow that fell in front and

behind did not cover them over but left them

there forever like footprints on the moon

and suddenly she was no longer a wolf

in the snow but a wolf on the moon

and she hated it, she hated it,

because all her wolfish prints just stayed

forever behind and in front of her.

But fortunately some astronauts came

and captured her in a special moon wolf net

and took her back to the Earth

and to the snow and once more she was a wolf

in the snow and she was happy

she was a wolf in the snow.

She was a wolf in the snow.


Her softness sets her apart,

seeping through her skin and making her,

In all the areas we instinctively seek focus,

little more than a blur,

Her mouth like a series of mouths

overlaid, her whole face in fact

quietly struggling towards a form

and failing, forever, to find it.

It’s as though a thousand women

were within her, none of them quite

distnictive enough to stake her claim

on our lingering attenton.

Which is precisely why we linger.

We can’t dismiss her nor she us.

We are left hanging and to our surprise

we find ourselves inexorably sinking

into that warm, alien landscape

with its snaky paths and mountains

barbed with light, our heartbeats

slowing, our faces all smiles.


Andrew Pidoux was born in Buckinghamshire in 1974. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1999, and his book of poems, Year of the Lion, was published in 2010 by Salt. Since 2016, he has been living in Guangzhou, China, where he teaches English at Guangdong University of Finance and Economics.


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