People fear the wolf,

she is too beautiful for this world

her mysticism frightens them 

born of a no-winters kind of world,

having no familiarity with hibernation

they lift large rock slabs over their bodies to shelter

them from inevitable death

         not knowing she comes to nourish them

her fangs covered in berries

the fruit of their frightened selves 

taste so bitter. 

If you waded in the waters

far enough to reach her den

you would find a dignity

not known among men. 

The wolf is more man than man

 and men cower beneath rocks with weapons raised,

more animal than animal.







There is something inherently sad 

about a wet dog

Why donŐt people react the same way

to a bedraggled man in the alley

who is clearly just as lost?


As is the business man in the 

killer black suit,

smoking away his infidelities 

and buying expensive pens to hide his

weakness for blondes and boredom with stock market exchanges.


Thinking he can pass them off

as spare change 

and then understand his destiny,

but even the chai latte and 

and BMW are silent when he probes them,


 what am I?

 who am I?

or something equally vague and metaphysical


like the faded edges of a receipt

soggy and forgotten.

like a dog

a man

the shell of a man,

they all look the same when the rain 


and leaves them naked,

standing on street corners

waiting for the light to change. 



© Chloe Viner


Bio:  In 2011, her chapbook, Naked Under an Umbrella, was published by Finishing Line Press.