The Bear

In our tent (at Bear Lake
of all places)
six miles in, second night, reading lamp
off for half-hour or so
A nosy scratching on the flap at our feet.
                    —Squirrel?
                    —Raccoon? Then,
I hear one great snort and see movement
between fly and tent in faint moonlit night,
a massive body pushes
into your side, leaning onto the blue nylon fly, onto you.
          Sitting up,
clutching each other, you whisper, What do we do?
and I don’t know.
I don’t know what to do, Stay still and quiet, I say,
slowly, not knowing
at all what I’m talking about as the bear
snorts again, inhales deeply
                    And it’s then I realize this
could be it—and looking into your eyes here
alone at night in Rocky Mountain National Park
I couldn’t be more horrified, really, nor
more completely awake and, surprisingly
overwhelmed with peace
in this terrible instant
as I wait with you,
my love, for what we cannot see, what
we can only hear
rummaging outside our tent
until the woods are again as silent as the mountains at night are
and we dare let go.

 

Published by pedalpoet

Poet, writer, and songwriter living in Seattle, WA

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