Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Wolf pack

                    we have determined

                    he, and he alone,

                                                            is responsible

 

                    as best we can gather,

                                         this one’s a lone wolf

 

                    his actions are not attached, or indicative,

                    to, or of,

                                       any religion, ideology or group

 

                    it is impossible to ascertain who, or what,

                    may have made him like this

 

                                        so far as we know

                    there was no immediate cause

 

      of course

 

                    like the lone wolf

who wreaked blood-carnage

in a black church in charleston

                    a lone wolf

the butter-wouldn’t-melt bowl-cut blond boy

who introduced himself with a shy smile

        at bible-study time

 

just before he opened fire

 

                    like the lone wolf

heavy-breathing as he hunted the halls

at marjory stoneman douglas high

who drew swastikas on gun magazines

        before the worst upper-school massacre

of all united states time

 

                    a lone white wolf

killed hispanics this week, in el paso

                               a lone wolf

massacred muslims

in christchurch, last march

                    a lone white wolf

killed seventy-seven, on an island in norway

                    a lone wolf

shot up the synagogue, in pittsburgh

 

                    the lone white wolf

     in london

vehicle-rammed the finsbury park mosque

 

                    these lone wolves,

                            they defy all sense,

                     analysis and logic

 

                    just who or what

   could have made them this way

                                               if only we knew

 

        but they are lone wolves,

                                you understand

 

                    so we don’t see them coming

 

                                                     until after they do

Maxine Beneba Clarke
is The Saturday Paper’s poet laureate, and the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.