‘Update on Werewolves’
A New Poem by Margaret Atwood

"It was only flirting, / plus a canid sense of fun"

September 26, 2018  By Margaret Atwood
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Update on Werewolves

In the old days, all werewolves were male.
They burst through their bluejean clothing
as well as their own split skins,
exposed themselves in parks,
howled at the moonshine.
Those things frat boys do.

Went too far with the pigtail yanking—
growled down into the pink and wriggling
females, who cried Wee wee
wee all the way to the bone.
Heck, it was only flirting,
plus a canid sense of fun:
See Jane run!

But now it’s different:
No longer gender specific.
Now it’s a global threat.

Long-legged women sprint through ravines
in furry warmups, a pack of kinky
models in sado-French Vogue getups
and airbrushed short-term memories,
bent on no-penalties rampage.

Look at their red-rimmed paws!
Look at their gnashing eyeballs!
Look at the backlit gauze
of their full-moon subversive halos!
Hairy all over, this belle dame,
and it’s not a sweater.

O freedom, freedom and power!
they sing as they lope over bridges,
bums to the wind, ripping out throats
on footpaths, pissing off brokers.

Tomorrow they’ll be back
in their middle-management black
and Jimmy Choos
with hours they can’t account for
and first dates’ blood on the stairs.
They’ll make some calls: Good-bye.
It isn’t you, it’s me. I can’t say why.
They’ll dream of sprouting tails
at sales meetings,
right in the audiovisuals.
They’ll have addictive hangovers
and ruined nails.

The preceding is from the Freeman’s channel at Literary Hub, which features excerpts from the print editions of Freeman’s, along with supplementary writing from contributors past, present and future. The latest issue of Freeman’s, a special edition gathered around the theme of power, featuring work by Margaret Atwood, Elif Shafak, Eula Biss, Aleksandar Hemon and Aminatta Forna, among others, is published October 17th.




Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. She is the author of some 16 novels, eight collections of short stories, eight children’s books, 17 volumes of poetry, 10 collections of nonfiction, as well as small press editions, television and radio scripts, plays, recordings, and editions. Her lifetime contribution to letters and book culture include groundbreaking fiction, environmental and feminist activism, and service to community as a co-founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada.








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