One minute, a docile troop,
next a scrap,
then the fury of a roused mob,
breaking off into different grudges,
many blows, many scratches.
Then the silverback
works his way to the center,
pulls the shrieking pugilists apart,
attends to the groans of the injured,
slaps down the ego
of the momentarily victorious.
Animosity retreats to a favorite rock
or climbing rope.
Howls of fear, of anger,
are restrained by jungle law.
Splayed lips may show rebelliousness
to the mirrors in their heads,
but one look from the silverback,
and subservience seals all mouths.
I mind them
from the edge of the moat,
admire their look, their behaviors,
the resonance of their social patterns
I come again and again,
seduced by the comparison to myself.
I never wait long for something I would do.
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