Another bear poem

Another poem about death employing the figure of the bear (also of the lion, but that will have to wait). The bear’s massive body looks fierce. Its face is good for rooting around under logs and in garbage cans. Bears share a special nature with humans. Trainers perform with them and get them to dance.  The bear is a creature of the night. Its annual hibernation is like the cycle of the sun. The bear quietly retreats and disappears. Then the bear wakes and roams, often intersecting the edges of human activity.  Sometimes the bear’s heavy coat is black as the night, to which it belongs.
berpackto.blogspot.com

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

-Mary Oliver


					
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