A bear is no creature to be trifled with.
She's a ferocious mother,
out there in the piney woods, making something out of nothing,
top of the food chain,
taking out a hiker or two any time she wants.

Still, with all her talents,
she's got a fat ass and smells bad.
She sticks her snout in old rotten logs going after termites,
and when she vocalizes, 
she sounds like a old city bus.

spray her with a little lavender.
Have you ever seen such a nonplussed look?
You can almost see the memories floating reluctantly up 
from the deeps of her big bad bruin brain,
reminding her of a time when she was young enough to think
that she might one day be pretty
or popular
or loved.

There was a time, indeed, 
when she could go up a tree as easy as a breeze in June,
and look out over everything from a height,
thinking she was just mighty special and fine.
Goldilocks had nothing on her,
and even though she could put away all the porridge in three counties,
she was still cute,
and young,
and full of herself.

These days,
--at least right up until you spritzed her--
she wanders the forest on ankles that ache every time it rains,
and a back that feels like a creaky bridge.
She looks behind her for her cub, only to recall
that he has gone off on his own long ago,
and has grown to twice her size.
Now, he leaves her a carcass from time to time,
looking after her instead of the other way around.

Oh well, now there will be a temporarily sweet-smelling bear out there,
rooting through the town dump for treasures, 
or breaking into somebody's car for Tostitos.
Maybe she'll get a wild hare and take a loping run at some hikers
just for old time's sake;
hidden in her goofy gait will be the girl cub of so many summers ago,
running just because she could,
because it felt good,
and there was the whole wide world to head into
top speed,
with nothing out there big enough or dumb enough to stop her.


TexWisGirl said…
makes me want to weep for my old self...
hedgewitch said…
Laughing to keep from crying at this one. I once read a line somewhere that went vaguely like this--"Life is just a machine to make old, arthritic, dogs out of gamboling puppies." Yes, it was a depressing book, and this is also wistfully depressing, because you make the whole aging process ring so true.Your eye for detail has never been sharper, and the realism of the emotional mood never falters--so it is, this life. But still--on a good day, Ursa can curl up in her cave, warm and dry, and dream of all the terrified hikers and delicious termites and never mind the cold wind.
Mama Zen said…
This kind of made me want to cry, too! I hope she takes out a hiker or two for us all.
HermanTurnip said…
That was sweetly sad. You're drawing many parallels to the life cycle of humans, through with more carcases. Loved this one!
Cloudia said…
Sadly sweet. . . . .

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

=^..^= <3
Shadow said…
aaaaw, her as well?? makes me want to give her a good ole cuddle and a few 'never mind's'... and end up being lunch in all probability...
Kathryn Dyche said…
I love your depicting of aging . . . especially as I'm feeling every 41 of my years lately!
Sara said…
LOL This is sadly a lot like me without the terrible smell and rooting around the garbage dump and the kid leaving the carcass...

On another note, I loved you told this story and used the spritz of lavender to lead us to her cub years.

Without a doubt, you should donate your brain for a study in creativity. I don't I've known anyone who has the diversity of subjects, writes as frequently as you and still does it so well.

I smiled all through this one:~)