By Truth Thomas

Wolves know value of howling tests,
how woods will jump at their alarms
and fight-back canines do not bluff
when rallied round the hunter’s barn.

And fight-back canines bared is school
when living is an ambush ground.
I fill my books with practiced growls
whenever trouble makes a sound.

I fill my books without a leash
and it is well to find my voice
is nothing like mosquito whine,
or guilty in its booming choice.

It’s nothing like a back-down thing
to scurry away from a whip.
I pray no fence will become me
or dog show will tether my lips.

Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, raised in Washington, DC. He studied creative writing at Howard University under Dr. Tony Medina and earned his MFA in Poetry at New England College. His poetry collections include Party of Black (2006), A Day of Presence (2008), Bottle of Life (2010) and Speak Water (2012). He serves on the editorial boards of both the Tidal Basin Review and the Little Patuxent Review and is the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing. Most recently, he guest edited the ground-breaking Little Patuxent Review Social Justice Issue (Winter 2012). He is formerly Writer-in-Residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo), and currently serves on the HoCoPoLitSo board. Thomas’ work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared in over 70 publications including The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni).