In the tradition of werewolf films, the werewolf is generally incredibly well turned out with immaculately coiffured hair. This poem, 'Teen Wolf', takes its title from a film from the 1980s starring Michael J Fox, where he is going through the transformation or transition between childhood and adulthood, and also the transition between boy-man and wolf. So this poem is about transformation.
His bones sweetened. And then sickened.
Good days rolled over bad.
His room took on a glandular smell.
A year seen through rippled glass.
An hour of moon-watching would bring it on.
Even a moon half thumbed through.
Not the agonised transformation
but a silent taking himself off to the bathroom,
returning bequiffed and not a hair out of place,
the button nose the type that studs
the leather upholstery of a gentleman’s club.
Teeth and nails to die for.
We’d drive him out to the coppice, the ruined mill;
watch him wade into a burlesque of ferns.
The weird, wind-up flight of a startled pheasant.
One backward glance and then gone
into rip-rap and sapwood.
unpublished poem, copyright © Patrick Brandon 2009, used by permission of the author