Nightmare bear

Under the eaves tucked into
her den, she burrowed deep,
scrunched in a heap of blankets
– the pill of wool he could not
swallow – the bear.

She squeezed her stuffed bear,
held soft paws and breath tight
but still long snout
snuffed her out.

The stench of his breath
fermented remains of a salmon
berry feast yellowed sharp teeth.

He tore off her sheets. She
ran down the hall screaming.
He chased her careening,
claws  sawing the floor. She
barely made it. Crawled into
their cave – mama bear, papa bear
– safe.

Until papa bear rumbled,
said she’s got to go. Mama
led her away. Again the bear came
but this time she let him eat her.

Salmonberries photo credit:


"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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