Bear Days (prose poem)

In a meeting about the beloved community, my old enemy. She’d always told me I wasn’t good enough, never did the work of community-building right, never ever higher than a disgusting subhuman. For years, a little gremlin inside me deeply believed her. Now, in this volcano of a meeting, tiny room, I have such bigger muscles than I used to, and when she jumps down my throat I start chewing. She withdraws with a snarl and I tower up over her like a bear on its hind legs she towers back a bear too showing sharp row of teeth we push our faces up against each other nose to nose, I hiss and claw the air for show.

She withdraws. Or was that just a stalemate? It’s at least a day till I remember she’s a person. I try to imagine her as an infant left in the snow beside my howling bear, in my third eye she is wailing and I raise my rough paws over her, claws in, scoop her up and take her to my cave, milk by the fire, my silk blanket upon her.

(c) Donna Minkowitz 2012

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