|Chagrin River Review
In a borrowed cabin
You don't want a bear in the kitchen
they make a terrible mess
so said the neighbor on the phone
a tiny electronic voice of caution
whose ring we almost didn't answer
because we were so sure it couldn't be for us
this not being our home
it's not their fault, you see
they are so hungry
this time of year
having drowsed through most of the winter and all
and this one's pretty aggressive
busted right into the house
across the creek from you
What does one do?
when ones place in the food chain
has been threatened
by 328 pounds of groggy
louse infested Ursus Americanus
claws capable of raking through
a refrigerator's skin
as easily as if it were the cake's frosting
the beast smells hidden behind
magnetic weather-stripped doors
canines the size of of a human forefinger
implanted in jaws endowed
with twelve hundred pound per square inch
tiny squares of glistening safety glass
from an exploded patio door
diamond dusted into matted fur
sparkling like snowflakes
in the silent moonlight
do you go onto the deck?
beat pans and pots together
turn off the lights
hide in the closet amongst the snowshoes
do you pray?
and to whom
what does one do?
and your master’s degree
in 16th century literature
are rendered useless
by a confused and frightened carnivore
the kitchen door?
(photo by Rai Collins)
Michael Salinger is a father, poet, educator who travels the world promoting the use of poetry as a literacy tool in classrooms.