white bear 

​The bear woke up in dead December;

his taste for honey broke his slumber.

The realness of movement in his mind

was stronger than the dreams of sleep. 

He focused his eyes and 

scryed through the dark. 

He saw that his cave was his home. 

“What kind of a home is a cave?”

He wondered,

and realized his walls were dirt and stone. 

But dirt and stone outside was 


he did not want to hibernate. 

The bear remembered 

the dirt of the ground where sun had shone. 

The leaves and the trees and those honey-bees.

is called the trouble stuff. “I don’t want to be alone.” (he wanted to roam)
So, up Bear stood,

and out he strode to reach the rustling green.

When he broke from his sheltered stone,

what he saw was new and unknown:

the dirt outside was cold and white 

and light bounced from the sky and ground. “This is a different,

shinier , cleaner / brighter 

version home than I know.” When he reached the white,

he found it cold,

and plush, but brighter than he’d seen

in his sleep, his dreams,

his previous meanderings through the folds.

Bear knew that bears belonged

in Caves at this time–

this time of white & marvelous light. 

But he did not want to go

back home. 

He was afraid, though, to wander

over whitened snow

and trees whose branches were bare and fine like bones.

“Where are the leaves that hung from these trees?”

Then fear hit,

but Bear trudged along.

He did not know the dirt, for the snow.

He walked the valleys,

there were no bees,

there was there was no honey,

everything seemed, to him, asleep

(under a blanket of winter snow). But then

he saw the green:

It was the spruce and furs and pines,

the winter trees that still awake. Then he remembered.

He’d seen these trees

in summertime and spring.
Fear fell away.

The sun shone down and warmed his feet.

When Bear was warmed by icy skies,

he turned white:

he what is a polar bear.

He had just forgotten.

He forsook his cave and changed. 



copyright: C. Ward 2016


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