Self-Portrait as a Bear
by Donald Hall
Here is a fat animal, a bear
that is partly a dodo.
Ridiculous wings hang at his shoulders
as if they were collarbones
while he plods in the bad brickyards
at the edge of the city, smiling
and eating flowers. He eats them
because he loves them
because they are beautiful
because they love him.
It is eating flowers which makes him so fat.
He carries his huge stomach
over the gutters of damp leaves
in the parking lots in October,
but inside that paunch
he knows there are fields of lupine
and meadows of mustard and poppy.
He encloses sunshine.
Winds bend the flowers
in combers across the valley,
birds hang on the stiff wind,
at night there are showers, and the sun
lifts through a haze every morning
of the summer in the stomach.
Meanwhile at Moss Cottage a new addition to the small flock of pigeons who have taken up residence in my oak trees. Look! Pure white with feathered feet, one of which has a tag. I’m in love! Pigeons are handsome birds. They’re stout, have the loveliest colored feathers, can fly fast, and are docile and friendly. Like cows really.
This explains why I’ve started to covertly feed them under the cover of
dark. Cracked corn and other grains. My next door neighbor who just
put the plastic owl on his roof will kill me if he finds out,
but…….he won’t! I’m clever and stealthy. The white dove MUST eat
in the manner in which he had grown accustomed before he made his great
escape into the urban jungle and moved into my tree. I know what you’re thinking. Feed one and soon you’ll have thousands of pigeons roosting on top of Moss Cottage. No I won’t! You’ll see!
My new bunch of punks are like lambs. I can hardly believe it!
This post is rolling around like a marble in a big box. Going nowhere. Going everywhere. EGADS!
Going to put my feet up and stare into space. And think about lumbering bears with flowers in their bellies. And pigeons, lost doves, and lambs.