We challenged writers to send us their bear-related poetry and prose, in celebration of Katmai National Park’s Fat Bear Week.
If a Bear
by Kelli Lage
If a bear ransacks my skeleton
when no one is looking,
do bones still bow to forests?
If a bear sneers at my thighs
do I mirror the grizzly’s
If a bear chokes on cigarettes
does it hack up my grandfather’s vices?
by Jody Pasdigselv
I’m stealing time at work today
To partake in the ursine revelry
And witness the magnificence
Of a mother grizzly teaching her cub
To catch the spawning salmon
My pixelated little window
Into the world as it ought to be
Stutters, jumps, and freezes
I am two thousand miles away
And there are no bears here anymore
The Anthropomorphized Bear
by Z.H. Gill
The anthropomorphized bear—who’d long lived in the city among the humans and the animals who began resembling them—flew to Alaska to surprise his cousin, a bonafide wild brown bear.
“Good to see you, man,” said the anthropomorphized bear to his cousin. “I’d give you a hug, but—you know! Glad you’re doing okay. I hardly hear from you anymore. I miss you. We all do. How’s your mom? I don’t hear from her, either. She still around? I’d love to say hi.”
The cousin replied by biting the head off a sockeye salmon, licking his lips exuberantly.
by Salvatore Difalco
Clowns and sorcerers, Mad Hatters and harlequins swarmed the bathroom door.
“What’s your deal?” asked a woman in a white silk domino.
“You’re flying low, Batman.”
Red-faced, I zipped up. Someone dressed as a grizzly bear approached.
“Fantastic costume,” the woman said.
The bear stared at me with small, depthless black eyes.
“So convincing,” the woman said.
The bear continued staring with those small black eyes. Rancid breath steamed
from his toothy maw.
“That isn’t a costume, is it?” I said with some alarm.
“Don’t tell nobody,” the bear grunted and pushed his way to the bathroom.
Salvatore Difalco resides in Toronto, Canada.
Z.H. Gill works at a vanity label in West Hollywood, CA. @BlckPllPlsrBch
Kelli Lage is a poetry reader for Bracken Magazine and a Best of the Net-nominated poet. Lage’s work has appeared in Maudlin House, The Lumiere Review, Welter Journal, and elsewhere.
Jody Pasdigselv is a poet and wilderness enthusiast based out of the inland northwest.