The den


Sometimes I think of the bear sleeping
in her den deep in the woods and whether
she knows she missed the one morning
the lake turned white after it froze then
snowed, and that the darkest night came
and went and later swept a steely rain
that left test-tubes of ice on the trees
that surround her. I know soon she will
give birth to cubs whose world will be
the den and the den alone, and they’ll
have no idea that all winter the squirrels
stole nuts and the deer wandered the hills
leaving long, lonely, winding tracks.

Then one day, she will decide to leave her den
and her cubs will see a green leaf for the first time.