Just Bear It

A bear wakes

from hibernation

and he stares at the chair next to me

hungrily.

Was he alone this winter?

Nevertheless

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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