Yes, yes, I saw this while walking…really. Peered into a window and saw the picture hanging on the wall. No? Okay, I wrote in response to the girl bear photo just before my computer went on strike. Then I went on strike, so have no poems for the last two prompts and I enjoyed the bear poem so much I wanted to post it …so, while I was walking…
A Girl and Her Bears
She had always had bears in her life.
She remembered her first, a Steiff teddy bear, the official one with the round piece of metal in its ear and a tag, which she had tried to chew off.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears had been one of her favourite books, especially the ending, when Goldilocks ran screaming from the house, leaving the bears triumphant in possession. At least, she thought that was how it went.
Her grandmother, who only knew two songs, used to sing the Berkeley fight song to her, but she only remembered, Our sturdy Golden Bear /is watching from the skies. For years she pictured him looking benevolently down on her.
On vacation, her parents took her to the zoo in Washington D.C. where Smokey Bear lived, the real one, not the stuffed one dressed in jeans and a Ranger hat and sold in stores. They stood looking at him and read the sign that said: “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires”.
She loved the stories and poetry of A.A. Milne. She even had a Pooh Bear with his round stomach, red t-shirt, and wood bead eyes. He looked exactly like the one in the stories and she never saw another like him.
Paddington Bear belonged to her brother, but she saw him daily in his blue coat and yellow hat, knew his story and was allowed to be friends.
And, there was the bear her businessman father mentioned occasionally – the market is bear-ish, he would say to her mother over his evening beer, and she wondered if the one bear in their zoo had escaped and was rollicking about the local market.
When she was older and read National Geographic magazines, she learned all about grizzlies and polar bears and black bears and brown bears and, only recently, spirit bears.
She still had her koala bear, which she knew, now, wasn’t a bear, but had been all through her childhood. His fur was faded, the leather nose dry, and the ears almost bald. He would be fifty that year.
In High School, during a poetry unit, she met Adrienne Rich’s bears, wonderful bears, opalescent bears with fairy fur, the type of bears she populated her mind with.
The newest bear was a poetic bear. He often referred to himself as a grizzly, but she rather thought he might be a teddy bear, a life size Steiff teddy bear.
Note: This was such fun. At first my mind did nothing [must have been a precursor] and then I started thinking how many bears I had had in my life. I listed them, added to them and, in general, had a blast. For poems on actual walks people may have taken, visit We Write Poems.