On a zipper catch breath they slipped
from the trees, moving as meadow. Three bears
rolling closer on river-rock feet
toward the window where I stood
having just lost the way to everything’s name
Until one cub — there were two, with her —
tipped over the whatsitcalled
we had left outside to dry and
I remembered to ask
please, how is it done? What Mary said*
one question: How to love this world
perfectly, as you do.
I would give anything to know
from behind this glass.
And the mother bear sniffed
like the earth tasting itself,
like the sea when it reaches for the mountain
with a vast, subterranean hunger.
- Nod to the marvelous Mary Oliver poem, “Spring”