Saturday, July 7, 2018

the bear and I up the hollow

up Grassy Branch

for near two hours I pull myself 
up into the mountains above the cabin,
I push through heat and humidity that force the sweat from me
so that my body is pounds lighter,
though my spirit is pounds lighter, too,

I explore how the woods are recovering from the Great Fire,
much of the trail being swallowed by exuberant new growth,
poison ivy reaches for me at every step,
blackberry vines grab at my arms,
and prick my blood into flowing,
annoying bugs dance before me
and seek to fly into my eyes,
no amount of swatting can keep them away,

after I’ve climbed high up the hollow,
and explored the views and muddy horse trails,

I head back,
as I drop down, I see a great bear
also leaving the higher country,

his path set to intersect mind just where
overgrowth increases the chance I will surprise him,
a possibility his size and history make concerning,
this is a large bear, coming down from a sheltered hollow
my wife and I explored in the winter,
noting pile after pile of scat along the way,
and a large log, high up the hollow,
full of a bear’s scratches,
Scratch Log Hollow, I name it,
the scratches, maybe art? that’s what I’d like,
maybe assertion of self, that seems more right,

I sing to the woods, “Morning has broken. . . “
to let him know I’m around, 
my heart beats faster,
for he could easily make me into a meal,
that truth, that we humans might not be in charge,
shakes me at my foundations,
and I still love these moments.

by Henry H. Walker
July 2, ‘18

1 comment:

Connie said...