Little Bear waves to us
From a hill above our walking path
Now populated by grey skeletons
Of blue spruce, pine, and junipers
Splaying their stark arms skyward.
They once flourished there above
A carpet of grass and cragged,
It is not a real bear
That roams the hillside searching
For grubs and raising its cubs
But a sawed-off stump…
The remains of a once great
Alligator juniper tree that rose
Above the green hillside of a forest
Destroyed by Little Bear Fire
Which was birthed by lightening over
A decade ago.
The beckoning arms are but broken branches.
The ears, face, and body
Modeled from one part severed tree limbs
and two parts imagination.
Human resourcefulness invents form
even if one must often dream it.
Our grasp of Time inspires us in viewing
The beauty that remains amid Nature’s
And imagining that over future years
plants, insects, animals, and nature
will return the forest to its former
And the stump that is presently Little Bear
May nestle in the shadow of a flourishing