Monday, May 23, 2011

Up at Ozone Park, Spring 2011

A poem: Catching Bears at Night. My thanks to Lisa Cihlar, a great poet at Zoetrope, who supplied the prompts.

Catching Bears at Night

Don't speak,
just pretend
you're not the precious mink or otter
I've trapped along shallow water
living your life skipping stones
dreaming of a soft catch.
When I was young, before I bought
coon cuffs or bandit busters from
arctic renegades, tundra-shifters,
I could reflect someone's hunger
underwater and spent Canadian
sunsets with trachea closed,
hands tied and labeled.
I too fell prey to a padded jaw.

I could have designed a trap
to kill you quickly
but that kind no longer exists.
Just pretend I was hunting
golden bears at night
and wound up with a piece
of my own flesh.
By morning, I'll have lost
our appetite for wild honey.

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