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If You Plan to Trap More Werewolves, Don’t Send Them Here

The panting is the worst, it doesn’t stop
For hours after the moon’s gone, and it
Shakes the whole prison. I know their cage wheels
Absorb some of the motion, but the clop
Clip of wolf-claw on bars and the hit hit
Hit of dog-chain rattling in their cells feels

Like we are in some hurtling train, feels
Like we are in a cheap car that won’t stop
Until we can somehow manage to hit
Something very solid. I can’t stand it.
I hate everything about them, the clop,
The drool, the panting, the marking cage wheels

When they feel threatened by noisier wheels…
Still, I try to understand how it feels
To be a werewolf in a time-jail, clop
Clopping away forever. Time won’t stop
Because werewolves are stuck inside of it,
And can’t figure out how to bite/ gnaw /hit

Their way out before the full moon will hit
Again and they are left in there, where wheels
Just spin in place, and nothing to kill. It
Sucks for them; they know they’re trapped, but it feels
Like they won’t help themselves. It’s like they stop
Thinking once they’re captured. They only clop

Their claws, howl, gnaw and gnash all day. They clop
Even louder when any moon beams hit
Them. They can’t be blamed, really, they can’t stop
What they are. Our full moon’s a fake, it wheels
Over the jail any time a guard feels
Like wheeling it. The jail guards manning it

Don’t particularly care about it
Triggering curses, don’t give a dog clop
About what full moons do or how it feels
When random amounts of these full moons hit
Werewolves who can only run on cage wheels
And spin in circles. The guards never stop

To think about it. So the wolves are hit
Constantly. They pant. And clop. Their cage wheels
Spin. And it feels awful until they stop.

— Juleigh Howard Hobson

Juleigh Howard Hobson’s otherworldly writing has appeared in The Liar’s League, New Witch, Enchanted Conversation, Devolution Z, Champagne Shivers, History is Dead (Permuted Press), Loving The Undead (From The Asylum), Lost Innocence Anthology (Niteblade), Bits of the Dead & Vicious Verse (Coscom Entertainment), Mandragora (Scarlett Imprint) and many other places.

Editor’s Note: The sestina is often a perfect form to sustain tension in a narrative poem. The werewolf in a spherical cage is a composite image courtesy of Pinterest and A. Bill Miller.

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