Just Bear It

A bear wakes

from hibernation

and he stares at the chair next to me


Was he alone this winter?


this chair is taken.


From far off now

eyes are raking at me.

Despite the distance,

they feel close.

A salmon knows how I feel,

bear claws sting

as they push through clear water.


I turn.

Liquid eyes,

like tar pools,

stare back at me.

I meet his gaze

by mistake.

The bear cub

is staring back at me.


I don’t want to hold the gaze

I don’t want to challenge

I want to climb a tree,

cover myself

and hide.

But this is a bear,

and as the rangers say

I need to look back.

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