Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday Verse: "Bear Lament" - Margaret Atwood


You once believed if you could only
crawl inside a bear, its fat and fur,
lick with its stuffy tongue, take on
its ancient shape, its big paw
big paw big paw big paw
heavy-footed plod that keeps
the world-wide earthwork solid, this would 
save you, in a crisis. Let you enter
into its cold wise ice bear secret
house, as in old stories. In a desperate
pinch. That it would share
its furry winter dreamtime, insulate
you anyway from all the sharp and lethal
shrapnel in the air, and then the other million
cuts and words and fumes
and viruses and blades. But no, 
not anymore. I saw a bear last year,
against the sky, a white one,
rearing up with something of its former
heft. But it was thin as ribs
and growing thinner. Sniffing the brand-new
absences of rightful food
it tastes of ripped-out barren space
erased of meaning. So, scant
comfort there.
     Oh bear, what now?
And will the ground
still hold? And how
much longer?

                                                 - Margaret Atwood 

Miss you, Dad.

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