“We All Want to See a Mammal”

Here’s a poem by Elizabeth Bradfield, which not only mentions wolverines, but captures the essence of the wildlife-watching mindset of Yellowstone tourists. This was published in the July 29th, 2013, issue of The New Yorker.

We All Want to See a Mammal

We all want to see a mammal.

Squirrels & snowshoe hares don’t count.

Voles don’t count. Something, preferably,

that could do us harm. There’s a long list:

bear, moose, wolf, wolverine. Even porcupine

would do. The quills. The yellowed

teeth and long claws.

Beautiful here. Peaks & avens.

Meltwater running its braided course, but we want

to see a mammal. Our day our lives incomplete

without a mammal. The gaze of something

unafraid, that we’re afraid of, meeting ours

before it runs off.

Linnaeus was called

indecent when he named them. Plenty

of other commonalities (hair, live young,

a proclivity to plot). But no. Mammal.

Maman. Breasted & nippled

& warm, warm, warm.

 

(reprinted without permission, but with respect, simply in an attempt to compile wolverine references here at this wolverine-dedicated blog.)

 

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