Safe From Harm
by John Grey
John Grey

Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Slant, Briar Cliff Review and Albatross with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock and REAL.

I went to be among nature.
convinced it was this great jigsaw
with a billion times a billion
interlocking pieces.
But I couldn't help saying to myself,
"And then I came along."
I could hardly bear to
pick up the pebble,
figured I was severing it
from its grass,
the tree trunk it rested against.
And warblers saw me,
skittered away,
a human wrench in the works
of their instinct.
I walked down the trail
snapping twigs, crunching leaves,
brushing against branches.
The damage I felt myself doing
was more of the ruin set in motion
the day I was born.
I turned around, left,
careful not to destroy too much
on my way out of the woods.
I can remember those old Wolfman movies,
Larry Talbot begging to be locked
in his room on full moon nights,
to stop him from harming others.
It's not exactly a locked room
but I find a mall is just as good.

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