Today's poem is by Annie Finch

The Changing Bear

There is a bear who swallows up a cloud;
the bear's a cloud, an autumn bear, and all
the evening swallows follow her sky down
until it's a mere reflection of a bear
on the same ripples that their feast dives for.
And then the swallows follow back the bear
who fades at the muzzle, sinks around the jaw,
sated, and lets the darker clouds alone.
The bear purples the northern sky, and when
she's swallowed all the final pink and lies,
a waiting belly looming on the lake,
one swallow leaps an inch from where it flies
to make a silhouette as the bear dies,
and then the bear dies, if she ever dies.

Copyright © 2004 Annie Finch All rights reserved
from Fresh Water: Poems From the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams
Pudding House Publications
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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