bear

The sun’s so bright, I don’t see the large black bear in the shadows at the woods’ edge until the dog points him out with a quivering nose.

Strange cries coming from the powerline—mammalian, possibly ursine. I’m mesmerized by the sun on the creek. The first hummingbird zips past.

White sky thin enough for the sun to shine through. The sound of a bear tearing at a log. A ripple of squirrel alarms as a hawk goes past.

A noisy exchange of crow news sets off a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos. A juvenile black bear ambles down the road and into the woods.

Day 3 of the thaw. A month’s worth of apple cores are beginning to surface. Inside on my computer screen, via webcam, a black bear sleeps.

In the half-light, the soft crunch of gravel: a bear-shaped shadow ambles up the road, turns onto my walk, stops in front of my door. Waits.

Clear at sunrise, and so cold the mucous freezes in my nostrils. Trees pop at random intervals. A good day to be a black bear, fast asleep.