The Girl Who Dreamt Of Polar Bears
Always wore a black scarf, black gloves, soft black boots,
And a coat the color of a doe in winter.
In the frozen, brittle hours of night,
She invited them to meet her in the dream-time,
As if they might walk right in through her front door
Like guests for tea.
Will you purse your lips, look away, clear your throat
When I tell you that is almost exactly what they did?
With the sun barely higher in the sky than a lacrosse ball,
And bound to fall as fast,
She walked down to the Dairy Queen, and as she walked,
White bears began to follow her.
Polar bears have no natural enemies, and fear nothing.
They can tip a snowcat over as if it were a toy, and
Nom nom nom, no more driver.
The hockey boys didn't shout at her, didn't make rude invitations;
They just stopped on their skates and stared, as the puck slipped unnoticed past fat Jimmy Flynn.
On she walked, bears all around her.
The constable, with his rifle hanging by its strap over his good wide shoulder,
Simply stood there,
Like he'd never seen Girl With Polar Bears before.
Maggie Two Crows turned to him and said, "Dat's some white girl," and smiled as if she were little again and helping her mama make fry bread.
The girl who dreamt of polar bears arrived at Dairy Queen and stomped her boots.
The bears stood or sat, the breath from their big black noses making them look like locomotives.
The girl said to the boy inside,
"The bears are mothers of things known without teaching.
They got paws bigger than my head.
Gimme a cheeseburger and a hot chocolate.
Some for the bears too, eh?"
That is the story of the girl who dreamt of polar bears.
Her mama said she weren't no good,
But the bears liked her.
The bears told her about the Great Medicine Wheel.
She told them about Mats Sundin, famous captain of the Tronna Maple Leafs.
Makes a pretty good story, yeah? Damn right it do.
for One Shot Wednesday
photo: Jennifer Connelly