Too Young to Know

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In this late summer season of baiting

the unwary,

where can a little bear go

to be safe from human predation?

He must travel to find his territory.

 

This question haunts me

even as I imagine Bb

combing sweet blue berries

with curved claw and paw

on a speckled granite mountain slope.

 

The young are too trusting.

 

Survival drives all bears to

bait sites where men with guns

wait, hiding like cowards

inside huts camouflaged in dull green.

One explosive blue flash

And white death claims another innocent body –

 

The Spirit of Nature keens

at the mindless loss

of one of her own

as I do, imagining.

 

The young are too trusting.

 

But it is also true that few wild

creatures young or old

have learned the ways

of man and his obsessive need to kill

if not a bear, then a hapless turkey, elk,

red fawn, or antlered deer.

All this slaughter for bone, skin, or roaring head

stuck on someone’s wall.

 

Nature provides a safe haven

for those fortunate to live

within her forested embrace, but

the trees are dying from disease

and relentless human logging.

Great holes rip

open the sky,

the sun beats down

turning to tinder,

damp ground

where mushrooms once grew

in abundance…

Fires burn out of control.

The forest is disappearing

even as the mist rises

out of this once peaceful mountain valley…

 

 

The young are too trusting to know.

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