The Killing of Wolfie

It still haunts me, like my father’s ghost. It was bad; I knew it would be. He kept returning to it like a terrible dream, compelled to it like an addiction he couldn’t escape. He could be vicious, with a vile temperament, like he had an anger deep within, always on the verge of erupting. A killer, yet he could never kill. He just made a loud scary noise, bravado to fend off the unaware. He was given up on that way from birth. He had no choice. It was a thing inside him, like returning to his own vomit, time after time. To examine it, sniff it, wonder if it really came from him. He was the keeper of the gate, the killer of tires and bogymen and things bigger than himself. Things that moved too swiftly. It broke his leg once, his recklessness, his blind aggression, his blatant meanness. But he was never mean to me. He gave me kisses. But then there was no choice. He was abandoned, like a severed arm that remained alive and became something that could not be stopped, like an unintended consequence or a train escaping brakeless down a steep grade. Chasing canine dreams or horses could only earn him the rancher’s wrath and a bullet to the head. Murdered like a disobedient dog. That was the news that came, like the sound of a door slamming in a hurricane; that he would never be old like me.

January 20, 2022 – April 7, 2023

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