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
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.