Bear

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Bear belly crawls out of her den
limbs heavy with winter lassitude
paws her way up through rootball, fieldstone, clay
two wide-eyed young nudge her flanks:
this bright new world is safe?

She noses the air
examines numerous scent trails
wild garlic, beetle larva, dead deer
food sources for her depleted body

Too many options

For a moment she sits and basks
black coat a magnet for a patch of sunlight
The muffled thrum of her own heartbeat—
sole companion under the snow—
quickens now with the sap pulsing through green wood
and the call of the cardinal from the top of the maple

She shakes her head, sending dust flying
swats away the young nuzzling for a teat
sways to all fours and sets off
pushing through briars
burrs catching in her winter fur
April wind cutting a ruff around her neck

She leaves a path of scuffed loam and flattened leaves in her wake.

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12 thoughts on “Bear

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thanks, Melissa. Yes, spring is taking her sweet time this year. Snowflakes today and nary a sign of the peas and spinach I planted a few weeks ago. Oh for a fine big poly tunnel! Glad yours got a new coat! All the best, Melissa

      Reply
    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thank you for your nice comment. Last year I had the pleasure of watching a mother bear and her four cubs!

      Reply
  1. BERNICE GENDELMAN

    WONDERFUL, AS USUAL! I EXPECT NOTHING LESS. WHAT A WONDERFUL, TALENTED FAMILY THE FIVE OF YOU ARE. WE ARE BLESSED.

    LOVE, BERNICE & SEYMOUR

    Reply
    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thanks, Adele. We’ve lots of bear in the woods around us, and though they tend to stay out of our way, you can’t help but be aware of their presence.

      Reply

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