Two Bears, One Wolf



In my dream, two hulking 

brown grizzly bears appear 

in a narrow strip of backyard 

where I stand, small and frightened, 

in my big brother's shadow. The bears 

are fighting, fur flying, teeth

flashing in the afternoon sun. 

I run, scream "Come on!" - dash 

around the corner and in 

to the wishful safety of the house. My brother 

does not follow. Through the window 

I watch him pull at the bears 

like naughty school boys, scrapping. The bears 

turn away from each other, toward 

him, saber claws slicing, and he 

finally runs, too, joins me at the window. The bears 

fight again, beyond the glass, but now 

it's night, and a wolf 

is out there, too, glowing 

silver in the moonlight. The bears

see only each other, blood and rage. That wolf 

sees me. His sharp face rises, eyes 

find me through the window. He's thinking 

this house is a facade, a laughable 

mound of sticks, a child's prayer piled feebly 

between his truth and mine. I wake huffing 

and puffing and strangely disappointed 

to have survived this night, those razor 

teeth, those hard canine jaws still 

bared and hungry behind my opened eyes.

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