three bears shot to death and plastic cans cannot possibly contain all that we desire and then tire of

there’s only so much
time to get it
down, to get it
done, to do it.

the land mover
starts moving land
in the morning,
when fist
legally allowed.
this is a
small town,
but still there are
statutes and
ordinances. still
there are times
when even we
deem explosive removal
of earth
to be too
much. too
much, the flat tire
proved to be
too much.
it wasn’t the
rusted frame
or the
windshield wiper
motor that
abruptly seized.
those could be
fixed; rain
beaten back
and salty air
sighed aside
by another
galvanizing layer.
the flat tire,
though,
that was
too much.

the Toyota
pickup truck,
a symbol of
both value and
fatigue,
here in this
small ocean-edged
town, the Toyota
sits
in a tiny lot,
several miles from
our downtown.
one flat tire
brought its
abandoning.

i cough loudly
when i am on
my bicycle, out
a few miles past
the forlorn
and flattened
Toyota, out
where the road
loses itself to
gravel.
berry bushes
push in thick
and laden,
on both sides
of this skittering
road. and
i cough as
an announcement
to the bear population
that may look
to the road,
as i do,
for passage.

Bear, i am
biking by. i am
not here
to harm you,
and please,
in turn,
do not
harm me.

there are more
bears than humans
here, on this
massive island,
here, in this
tiny town.
the bears need
to eat
the berries from
bushes.
they need
to cross the road,
to get to
ocean, to
fish, to turn
it all to fat,
for a Winter of
quiet and
still. and
we humans
move about this
earth
so intently,
with so little
care for
the motion of
others.

the bears,
they are unseen
in the brush
at the lip
of the road.
the bears,
they wait
for me
to pass,
for all the others
to pass, so
they can walk
quietly by.

i cough from
my lungs
and spit
gravel from
meagerly spinning
tires.
i am afraid
of the bears,
and i am
afraid
of why
they avoid me.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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