Languid and slow, a black bear meanders up my drive
and speaks to me, as bears are won’t to do,
with muzzle raised to scent the evening air.
Not on my porch I tell him as I stand on the worn wood
planks. The last bear to dine here wore a cinnamon
pelt burnished to gold by the dying light. He stood where
I stand now, one fat paw resting on the window.
Oblivious to the snarling dog on the other side of the pane
he expertly slid the grease trap from the grill and licked it clean.
Not again I whisper to the black beast who in answer
swings his snout to the north and ambles through a
thick line of sugar pine and ponderosa.
That’s it, I tell him, we’ll see each other tomorrow.