Me and the Woolly Black Bear

Today’s PAD prompt, in honor of two for Tuesday, was to write a poem about the hunter or the hunted or both.


Me and the Woolly Black Bear

He is my rear shadow, the woolly
black bear. He doesn’t have
a name, and shadow because he
spends his time coming

after me, always getting close,
but not killing me. A few times
were close. I almost surrendered.

He’d love to eat me. He wouldn’t wait
to cook me. He’s fierce, and the winds
from his claws cause my hair
to fly like when I’m on a motorcycle

without a helmet, and a helmet
would be good when he’s
after me. I know it’s his nature,

but his battering and clawing
create tremendous distress. We
treat it with medicine, but my prayers
go unanswered, for I wish

the medicine would kill the woolly
black bear. I see a kind
lady, a doctor who specializes

in people who are traumatized
by these black bears,
and when I am with her, I
become the hunter, and

very rarely, I imagine I have
killed my tormenter, but it’s
never true, he’s never dead,

so I’ve learned not to celebrate
when it seems he’s dead because
his absences are far too short. I
am hunted, but I try to use

my injuries to help
others and sometimes, I forget
about my woolly black bear. Though

I know better, during these times,
for short spats of time, I celebrate
his absence and love the world.



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  1. #1 by clinock on April 19, 2013 - 1:20 am

    Ever tried making friends with the black bear instead of hunting him – or is this beyond imagination?

    • #2 by Carl on April 29, 2013 - 2:02 pm

      That works sometimes, and it would probably work all the time if it were easier. When I can’t get out of bed, I hug him.

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