I Keep Seeing Your Face

You stay with me all day today.
Yesterday too.
At first I thought you sullen
I did not recognize you
 
Bear with the troubled face
You are thin today 
And not responding to people scare tactics,
Our gongs 
and indignant shouts. 
 
You who would open our door
Walk right into the larder
We wanted you to go
To get away from our kind
we are greedy and we do not share.
We know how we are
Some are worse
you must go.
 
But today it is your pain 
I am seeing
Your pain I am feeling
although I live in a place that has no
place for a bear
You haunt me 
You of the twice tagged ears.
 
 
Last year you came to our porch 
with your three sturdy cubs
You upturned our cans of seed 
and stayed an half an hour.
The young singing a bear song
high and one noted
Two burly boys and a little girl who
hung on your leg
 
You had to cuff the boy finally
just so you could have some food for you
and the little one.
He still resisted
the brother too.
Where are they now?
 
For years, bears lived in the woods
And we lived on the edge of town.
We did not see your folk
Only the occasional winter rabbit 
and the results of a night of deer nibbling 
if we sited our tomato plants 
too casually.
 
But now the lust for gas and stone has
sawed off the top of the mountain
The snakes are gone
and many birds
who needed denser canopy
you have no place to hide
no place 
to be a bear
 
In any healings I have done,
it was you Bear
who showed up first
who brought strong energy
and light.
It was you Bear
who held up my heart.
 
Where am I now? 
 
Anne Ryan

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