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God Bless the Bear

John Newlove
From:   Apology for Absence: Selected Poems 1962-1992. Erin, Ontario: Porcupine's Quill, 1993. p.183.


How many of them die of old age?
They die of the tension of not-knowing,
the apprehension.
                Fear sits in their guts,
thus the courage, the quickness, the shyness
of a deer asking Are you my death? the gopher
taking one last look. I want to know
what my death looks like
no matter how fast it comes.

Or the bear. God bless the bear,
arthritic as me, doing its death-clown act
on two legs, ready to embrace, saying
I'm just you in funny clothes.
Your clothes are funny too. Let's wrestle,
my little man, my little son, nay little death, my brother.



John Newlove's works copyright © to the Estate of John Newlove.


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