Saturday, July 24, 2021

Vulnerable by J.I. Kleinberg

Here, at my desk, in this room,
in this house, on this street,

in this city, not a single
black rhino or leatherback turtle

or western lowland gorilla
is likely to interfere with my day,

amble up from the shore
of extinction to plead

on behalf of love. How easy
it is to forget the pangolin,

the vaquita, whose path
will never cross mine. How easy

to live this very life without
the Sumatran tiger whose absence

I can surely ignore. Yet the imperiled
are many and mute, a circus of shadows

too astounding to disregard. Today I add
to the list, along with leopard, orangutan,

polar bear, whale, the words our love
lest I also neglect love’s needs

and hungers, forget to honor it,
give in to apathy, fail to guard

love’s fragile ecosystem —
inattention the fiercest predator.

J.I. Kleinberg’s poems have been published in print and online journals worldwide. An artist, poet, freelance writer, and three-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she lives in Bellingham, Washington, USA, and on Instagram @jikleinberg.


  1. Thank you. Seemingly simple, beautifully stated and a call to action within the power of any individual, to heed, protect, honor, nurture love.