Last Moon of the Year

[Words by Stephen Scobie / Photography by Aaron Huey]

In the last moon
of the old year
the chiefs came together

all the chiefs
of all the lands
along the coast

and they sent for a wolf
a strong one, a fine hunter
and they told him

Now is your time to hunt
now is your time to run
across the ice

across the landscapes of snow
under the wild green
lights in the sky

Now is your time to hunt
and kill, and swallow
the final moon

last moon of the year
make it disappear
now is your time

to make things new
— a year, a life, a hunt –
swallow that dying moon

then come back here
to the chiefs of the coast
we will reward you

They lied

They laid hold of that wolf
they cut his ankles
they blunted his teeth with stones

they blinded his wolf-grey eyes
they did it all
in the name

of a new year
of a new world
and the wolf

went stumbling away
recovering his sight
healing his ankles

so that he would be ready
when the summons came again
in the last

moon of the year