BEAR SEASON 

Gunshot distant in the morning 

while I nurse my crying child 

crying myself at how tired I am 

at how much it takes to tend to a thing entire. 

I think of the cubs 

I had seen clumsily follow their mother 

since this is now what I do, worry 

about things smaller than me and distant and more 

fragile and in doing so become fragile myself, 

wonder if they are ready to be 

on their own and if that is even a thing 

one could be ready for, decide 

to trust that the state would arrange 

hunting schedules properly and to leave 

that question unexamined, wonder 

if there is some lightening of burden 

should the fallen be the mother 

in that she would no longer be called 

day and night to tend to others which 

results in abandonment of the self 

and if in that last moment the self 

could come rushing back like how 

a child runs up the steps, dusk, 

skinned knee, tumbling into home.

Kate Lindroos