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The Gombalar

by John Grey

On the other side
of the rocky stream,
a gombalar makes its way
from the bank
to its hole in the mud.

On small clawed feet,
it maneuvers down grasses,
splashes gently in the water,
stops momentarily on a rock.

It smells something strange - human.
It stares at me but without a hint of tremble.

The gombalar’s coat is dark,
smooth as night,
the teeth it flashes, ivory white.
It is in no hurry.
With bright red eyes,
it explores the explorer.

Then it’s seen enough,
slips into its home, confident perhaps
that I am neither food nor enemy,
merely an abnormality
like thunderstorms
that come as sudden as they depart
or meteors that burst aflame
now and then from the flint of their flight.

Throughout all this,
I scan the creature.
It pops up in a picture-book on Earth.

Copyright © 2020 by John Grey

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