Each One of Us a Bear
It was spring, sometime in April. I’d lost myself because the world demands that sacrifice, alone at night among the wayward stars. The body has a way of reading those constellations. I tumbled ill and lay in bed, felt the fever come and cover me like quilts of boiling rain. And in that storm the steam rose off my neck and skin. I drifted like a skiff in and out and into consciousness again. I waited for news from the depths of my universe to tell me I was free and where to go. But what came back I could not understand, a vision in that headless fog. A grizzly bear in front of me with paws of ice and claws of bone, swatted at the rain, that haze, those drops of tiny fire. He roared at the sky as though he knew the reasons for the heat of the rain in my reverie. He was no spirit animal, no totem, no living amulet. We burned together, that bear and I, we scarred together each time a raindrop broke through his guard. There was no cave in which to hide, no swapping of places, only the thrashing, the liquid of thunder, until he fell exhausted next to me. And in that rain, we finally surrendered, each one of us a bear, breathing slowing, letting the coolness of our paws be the sole moment.
About the Author
Aden Thomas grew up in the sagebrush country of central Wyoming. His work has appeared in The Chiron Review, Rust + Moth, Turtle Island Quarterly, and The Inflectionist Review. His first book of poems, What Those Light Years Carry, is available through Kelsay Books. More at: www.adenthomas.com.