The Girl Who Dreamt Of Polar Bears

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,


Then two,

Then several

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.


This day,

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


Ileana said…
"Tronna" Maple Leafs...I get it, Chica. ;) I may move there someday...which, to quote you, "is better than R.I."

Love the line about bears being mothers of things known without teaching.

PS - Are you part bear, Shay?? ;)
Anonymous said…
Let's hear it for dem polar bears!

xxx said…
i want a polar bear too...
beatuiful :)
signed...bkm said…
I love this, and I am an avid Hockey fanatic...Penguins...Sid Crosby..I would fight a polar bear for him...and a good it....bkm
Cloudia said…
""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?"

You are awesome. Not exclamation point; PERIOD.


You my gal pal :)

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral
Brian Miller said…
ha. you are brilliant the textures and the characters you interwove in this fanciful tale...nicely told.
Riot Kitty said…
Nom nom nom! I love it.
Mama Zen said…
Now, I shall dream of polar bears!
Joanna Jenkins said…
I don't know how you do it Shay. That was awesome!
xo jj
moondustwriter said…
I just love the picture your prose makes.
Be on the look out for a girl with polar bears - one powerful chick

You rock Shay

Thanks for rocking with One Shot Wednesday!!!
Marshy said…
that was some piece..very inspirational and very unique..excellent work...i want to meet her!! cheers Pete
Unknown said…
This is a gorgeous poem-tale. I love the feeling of ice and expanse that you have created and I so want to dream of polar bears now!

"Her mama said she weren't no good,

But the bears liked her."

Wonderful just wonderful.
Mojo said…
Die Meppel Liffs. You're the worst liffs evere! I never knew what he was going to do.

(That's actually funnier if you remember the old Nike commercials with the out of work goalies.)

But seriously girl, you do have the most fascinating dreams. And thank heavens she's not the girl who stares at goats.
Lynn said…
It do make a good story!
Suz said…
Oh this was magical and delightful
what an imagination!
but....Chicago Blackhawks.
dustus said…
Impressive layering in your writing, all while creating a likeable character in such a short piece.
Cheers, Shay
PattiKen said…
This is marvelous! I love the dialect, the fantasy, and I especially love polar bears. How wonderful to walk with, and be protected by, polar bear. Most of us had to rely on big brothers for that, and they are very unreliable indeed.
Anonymous said…
I want a polar bear for a pet now :X :3 This is a very cute poem :P Imagine getting protection and warmth from them, it will be wonderful=D
Daryl said…
Claudia said…
Such fantastic whimsical writing - and yes - sometimes, I would have use for some polar bears as well... ;o
Jessie said…
pure enjoyment!

standing ovation...with smiles,
Anonymous said…
Makes a damn good story alright! :)
Brilliant imagery..
Ahh.. dreams! How wonderfully they work! Just perfect.. No no, I ain't talking nightmares here.. just the good ones.

Write on write on, my friend..
Unknown said…
I think you and I have polar bears around us all the time, don't you?

I do and we are the bearers of their teaching and this lovely poem and story is proof of that dear one, absolute divine proof.

Love you so much

Tabitha Bird said…
LOVE iT shay. So good. The bear. Yep. Magic.
Anonymous said…
one dang fantastical story!
TALON said…
Damn right. It do :)
Damn this is good - really really good
Unknown said…
This NEEDS to be a book. A picture book. Brilliant!
Kerry O'Connor said…
It is a good story and somehow I prefer your world of possibility to the real world: it is honest, with the straight-forwardness of animals and true love.
Anonymous said…
A good story indeed! And a wonderful poem. I love your 'voice' in this poem It adds so much to the enjoyment of reading it. Thanks for sharing your gift!
Lolamouse said…
A damn good story, indeed! I need a tome of FB's Bedtime Stories to read before I fall asleep. I'd never have nightmares again, and my dreams would be awesome!
Ella said…
You sure painted a deceptive blizzard~
Herotomost said…
Stunned, satiated, flabbergasted, melting like butter with a bit of garlic, happy, toasty, wistful and thinking of the girl that dreams of polar bears. This is a childrens book. I am going to read this to my daughter tonight, she will love it. Crazy good...crazy good.
Marian said…
man, we need some teachers. we have so much to learn. give us some lessons, bears, please.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I so love this story! Smiled all the way through.
great indeed.loved it to bits.I would prefer jaguars though or may be a black panther ;)
Hannah said…
I'd just LOVE to be able to control my cool that would be and I'd love to have a conversation with those bears.

""The bears are mothers of things known without teaching."

I really, really like that and the mention of the medicine wheel!!!

So Excellent, Shay!!
Susan said…
I thank you for this story that I can love with all my heart, voice and all.
Anonymous said…
"In the frozen, brittle hours of night, She invited them to meet her in the dream-time" Oh my gosh, this part is like a soft rain falling on my face and tender places. Exquisite.

"Will you purse your lips" This makes me picture someone removing her lips and putting them away in her purse for safekeeping (in other words, forcing herself not to say anything). We all have to do it from time to time.

Ooh, I love the build-up here; I'm getting excited:
"and as she walked,
Then two,
Then several
White bears began to follow her."

Love this: "Like he'd never seen Girl With Polar Bears before."

"The bears are mothers of things known without teaching." Oh yes. You had to say this and be brilliant.

I want to know more about this medicine wheel of which you speak.
Kay L. Davies said…
Sundin would love this! I know, because I love this, and I've always wanted to take the train to Churchill, Manitoba, to see the polar bears. So far, no one has agreed to go with me. My sister-in-law thought of it, then remembered she has young children. My husband heard me ask, but didn't think of replying.
Anonymous said…
Tronna Maple Leafs... ha ha ha. There is a sense of wonder for me in the piece. Sure, there are irreverent comments, but the whole time, my breath was held, waiting to see how it turned out. Like Beasts of the Southern Wild, only WAY north of that! Mystical, magical, and lovely writing, Shay. Love it. Amy
Karen said…
I love this! You have a true gift for creating characters and worlds that we wish existed! The details make this so rich. It's fun!
Anonymous said…
loving your magical tales, SP!

Popular Posts