The Bears Come Home

No way you could've known
they were heading your way,
staggering through
the woods to the house
you believed was yours because
you said it was
when anybody asked.
It felt like yours. It smelled
like yours. Father
in his club chair, reading
The Wall StreetJournal, his beloved
Lucky lolling nearby. Mother
whipping eggs into froth
or slicing lattice for a cherry pie.
And you in your own small rocker,
reading aloud to your dolls. The three
of you the envy of all. No wonder
you ignored the scuffling outside
on the mat, the door flying open
as if with a great gust.

And now in they troop, reeking of wild
berries and roots. The silly old story
doesn't mention the yelling,
the dishevelment, how the bears
demolish the pie, wrestle
Father to the floor where he
lies in a stupor. It doesn't say
Mother's face collapses
into ruin or how
the golden-haired girl tears
up the stairs, flies out
the window for the high
limb of the oak, counting
backwards by fives, backwards
by tens. The old tale refuses
to warn us. It doesn't even hint.

Copyright © 2016 Dannye Romine Powell All rights reserved
from Nobody Calls Me Darling Anymore
Press 53
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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