Wendigo Songs

They sat that midnight is the witching hour,
when today becomes yesterday
and tomorrow becomes now;
a time of transformation
and I was freezing!

The wind tears chunks out of my ears,
laps my cheeks dry,
singing a song I pretend not to know
as my heart counts down
to the next bus.

my breath flees from between shaking teeth
escapes the matted fibres of my scarf
into the night that may yet be morning,
swallowed by the wind —
I chant impatient oaths
and the wind eats those too…

I am hungry for warmth
by the time that coalred bison won’t stop
I want to charge it
ram my antlers against its horn
feed on those candlelight eyes that rush past mine

my joints crunch in time with my footprints
that I can’t hear for the
crackling of my muscles
the shattering of skin like glass

i dont know how many toes i have left
maybe i broke them off somewhere back
or they melted into black hooves
my hands claw my arms
for any scrap of heat
breath has burned my eyes snowblind white
im not sure if the munching is ice
or skin      flesh      bones
or lungs still trying to breathe
midnight air

the burningfreezing cold tears mouthfuls out of me
and i biteit eatit back

the wind sings wendigo songs

at midnight i will howl them back

© chris DINGLEY 2014
first performed for Words To Live By, Ottawa


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