The Understudy

Anne Marie-Fyfe

The doctor works hour after hour
under clock-hands stilled at five.

A painterly suspension of the wrist-joint—
such precision on the block.
the physician plucks shirtcuffs, sallow
moments under the knife,
                                                glint of the abyss.

The obituarist, far from the scene
of the crux, sharpens Lakeland pencils.

Elevator doors concertina to a standstill.

Upper chambers of the heart hang
by a daybreak. A limp corvine
in the Camellia House cannot find his mate.

Light bleeds into evening, a blunted razor
rests on a porcelain ledge.

The understudy in the wings
applies Leichner No. 5.

Next-of-kin snaps a clean wishbone.
Sirens clamour for last
in south-side plazas.

Plazas chequered with total strangers
asking for the possibility of a light.


The Current Issue

The current issue is packed with poems, reviews and interviews.

View Online copy »


The Wolf 35 is now out and available at stockists. Click here to buy online

Issue 35 is our last print issue. We will accept single issue subscriptions until this issue runs through, or for requested back issues (depending on stock).

Thank you to all who have supported the magazine since 2002. We hope to develop this site into an archive of larger online materials in the future.

The Wolf is now available to buy as a digital PDF copy via Paypal. £3/$5 for the latest issue.

The Wolf - Digital version


» Buy latest issue & subscribe
» Outlets that stock The Wolf


Hear the Wolf poets read their work.

Click here >

The Wolf at the Poetry Library

The Wolf on - all of issues 6, 10 and 11