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216 Wisconsin Wolves Shot Dead in 2021

On Sunday morning a man shot a wolf. He brought her home

tied to his truck tailgate: look, see what I have done.

She will make a very lovely banner.

He was very proud of the

two-hundred-sixteen wolves

he and his friends shot dead.

As he nailed her skin to his front porch

he said by way of explanation:

I have dominion over the beasts.

I am master, I am god.

He looked like he’d like to hang me

right next to her soft skin, too.

His friends joined him in skinning the two-hundred-sixteen,

nailing their hides and heads to doors and windows

and front porches and up flag poles,

their naked pink flesh flung into the streets

to rot and burst and stink. One final humiliation.

Is God a massacre?

I thought God was a love letter

written on worn footpads and yellowed teeth.

I thought God was a howled hymn heard for miles over

mountains and through trees and over smooth river rocks.

God is the magpie that perches atop the den; God

is the yearling toying with a field mouse; God is not

loaded into bullets or the blades of knives or the man

who calls himself god. God is tied to the truck tailgate.

God is the pups left behind that mewl: mother, come home. Come home.


Written by:

Alexandra J Schiessl-Moore

Alexandra is an undergraduate senior majoring in art therapy at Mount Mary University. Her work explores environmental degradation, animal welfare, and personal identity. Alexandra enjoys creative writing and making art in 3D, particularly from wood or clay. She also enjoys hiking, running, baking, and reading. Alexandra says her favorite author is Marc Hamer; any other nature lover must read his books!

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