The bear puts both arms around the tree above her
And draws it down as if it were a lover
And its chokecherries lips to kiss good-by,
Then lets it snap back upright in the sky.
Her next step rocks a boulder on the wall
(She's making her cross-country in the fall).
Her great weight creaks the barbed wire in its staples
As she flings over and off down through the maples,
Leaving on one wire tooth a lock of hair.
Such is the uncaged progress of the bear.
The world has room to make a bear feel free;
The universe seems cramped to you and me.
In February, black bears give birth to their cubs, nurturing and protecting them as the snow melts, the days grow warmer, and winter gives way to spring. Hazelnuts, acorns, black cherries, wild winter berries, and warm black fur dusted by moonlight, honey, and pine needles.