I had a student once held spellbound
By the world of animals,
Whether tame or wild or feral.
She was enchanted by what it was,
And as I came to understand with shivers,
Disturbed by what it wasn’t. For her
It seemed a place of rare and needful
Refuge from the human world
Of out-and-out betrayal.

I have my places, far less intense
But no less helpful, some of them
With tools or books or trees that even
Seem to roll out mats of welcome,
However pathetic might be this common fallacy.
No matter what, they are the trustworthy world,
One with permanence through any apprehension.