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

except bear

and oh

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*

about the

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”
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