What's Underneath

© Naomi Rivkis

Lyrics [pdf]

What do you do with the wolf-cub deep inside
That you gamely try to hide
From a world afraid of anything with teeth?
What do you do in a family frozen cold
When the surface, you are told,
Must be perfect, and who cares what's underneath?

What do you do when the fire of your hair
Is the only color there
When your daily life is ashen and your loneliness is black?
What do you do when your heart is craving glory
You can make up your own story;
Take the forest road to Grandmother's, and don't look back.

Wolf-child raised in a weasel's lair
They never much liked you; you tried not to care.
Grandmother knows you for what's inside you;
Come to her den; for a while she'll hide you,
Wrap herself round you and lick your fur,
Teach you to be a wolf like her.
You know you were born to be a wolf like her

In the woods you can run out all the pain
Breathe in deeply once again
Chase the butterflies and tussle with the trees
In the woods there are flowers on the road
Stick your tongue out at a toad,
Lift your eyes up to the sky and taste the breeze.

In the woods lives the parent of your soul
It's her love that keeps you whole
Your mother's mother they don't talk about in town
In the woods you can burrow in her smile
Be a child for a while
Loved and cherished till your breaking heart can start to settle down.

Wolf-woman holds you and strokes your hair
Teaches you what you don't learn back there
How to smell when the winter's through,
Put your heart into all you do;
Leap for the sky with the stars for friends
Don't think about how the story ends
No, never think about how the story ends.

What's that you hear? There's a quiet stirring sound
Like a heartbeat all around
Like the forest leaves know something you don't know
What's that you see? There's the house but it's too quiet,
Nothing's changed but you don't buy it;
Creep around behind and peer in through the snow.

What's that you hear? It's the sound of your own crying,
There's a wolf in there and dying,
With a woodsman's axe still buried in her back
What's that you see? It's the candles going dark
One bloody snuff puts out the spark
And the colors in your life all fade again to gray and black.

Wolf-child alone with the lies and shame
Parents who sneer at the head of flame
Grandmother killed for being too strange
Trying to teach you that life could change.
But you learned well and you're on the track
Someday you'll shatter the gray and the black
Someday you'll run -- and you won't look back.