Posted tagged ‘bear drawing’

Bearing Up

September 12, 2014


Bearing Up

She shuffled through life
like a bear wearing shoes,
which is not to say
that she scratched herself
or would take any honey
who would have her,
and, honestly, “hirsute” could only truly describe
her underarms,
or when spelled differently, her work clothes–

but it does mean that she shied away
from most humans
(though not, typically, their food)
and from conflict too
except when her young were near any line of attack, when she would become as ferocious as–
well, you know–

It also explains why she wore socks always,
even in bed, her feet not as furred
as her predilections, and why she could stand no chair long–
bears preferring even a stump to a straight-back–

Shoes aren’t great for bears, but were, you know, manageable
when the kids, cubs,
a mother willing to put up with all kinds of difficulty–
snout full of ants,
the sacrifice of salmon,
even pumps–
for the sake of family time in the den,
or, better, the dew of those summer nights
when they lay together in a flattened corn field,
cubs cradled in the warm and slightly hirsute hollows
of her arms,
staring up at their starred totems–

But it also explains the hobble,
after the cubs had grown away,
and the shoes felt always too big,
or too little,
rubbing her slashed pads, the claws
curling inwards, some
wrong way.

It’s true that there were other bears around–
wolves, mammals, poultry too—
even some very cold fish, all also jammed
into shoe leather–but not being a social creature,
she did not interact with them, except to startle
at their nearby heel clicks
down city walks and tiles, and to wonder, repeatedly,
how the fish managed to tie their oxfords on
so tightly.

Perhaps had she ever gotten dancing shoes, ballet flats,
she may have fared better,
but remembering how she once carried
her erstwhile young, she always went
for a stiffer sole, something with support.
Besides, bears tend not
to be good at ballet, not liking
the barre, much less mirrors–

No, if a bear wants to see some version of itself,
it looks down to those beings it was born to protect,
or up to stars’ paw prints, glinting
in the blue-black sky.

A draft draft draft poem–meaning freshly written, little edited, and probably too long–but for my own prompt on dVerse Poets Pub, meeting the bar, to use extended metaphor. I am also linking to with real toads open link night.

The picture is mine and was originally done to ask people to bear with me in filling in the shoes on the prompt for the wonderful poet and host Brian Miller (who has computer issues.)  But I liked the picture, and it sparked the poem.  For this poem, however, the bear should perhaps have different shoes.

Also–and sorry for the plug–but please do check out my new book, a rather serious one, called Nice.  It is available on Kindle for just 99 cents and in paper back for a bit more.  Also, I would be very happy to send a hard or other copy to anyone interested in writing a review!!!!! 

Since Seeing the Bear

June 15, 2013


Click on pic if cant see the music!