I Made My Amends With God

by Samuel De Lemos

The wolf with grey white coat
steps onto the freeway,
heading for the kill left
on the road. The same road
that heads towards Bend.

I’ve seen him before
at different intervals
in my life…

Once, when I was logging
in Alaska trying to
make college money.

On an island
in the South Pacific
near Ketchikan, I
lived with similar fated men.

We were thrust into the
wilderness to find precious
wood that
Japanese bankers
bought by the dozen,
until the tankers
were all filled up
with American logs.

Mostly cedars and fir,
we attached cables to them
and a helicopter would
swoop them up,
like a bald eagle
would swoop up a salmon
during their up-stream run.

One day, in that
dense Alaskan forest—

I turned a corner
and nearly ran into
that same grey white wolf.

We looked at each other,
curiosity got the best of us,
until we went our
separate ways,
nothing came of it,
just a distant
haunting memory.

I remember, I went out to town.
I had to take a plane ride in.
There I met a woman,
who like me—
was desperate for love.

We tore at each other’s
We were left
breathless, panting.
I imagine wolves
feel the same ravenous way.

A few years later,
I met my wife.
When I first saw her
I knew she would be mine.
Her smile convinced me
and the softness of her eyes.

I took her to Yosemite
on a winter escapade.

We drove slow through
the snow drift,
the precipitation
leaving its residue on
the road.

Around the corner,
hazy, white,
the way the atmosphere
looks when the snow
decides to make its way down,
we ran into a grey white wolf meandering
near the whitened road.

It was searching
for something?

Staring at us;
we marveled at its girth
and it’s lovely furry coat.

Something about its eyes
were both melancholy and
menacing; a lonely predator
on a desolate Sierra Madre road.

The wolf near the
highway that led to Bend,
stared at me
and brought a flood
of memories.

The wolf was
lazily strolling,
in the midst of the
many holiday cars.

I stopped to look at it,
I cried out to him,

“why are you stalking me?”

“Can’t you see, I’m religious now!”

The wolf’s ears perked up

The wolfe paced and
looked in my general direction
I yelled,

“I’ve made my amends with God!”

He stopped and stared, perplexed;

Eyes fixed back on the kill,

nothing, not even a human, would
dissuade him from the free lunch
left on the road.