Crazy Jane Meets a Bear

“I've been looking for you everywhere,”

she says when she finally meets him.

She has been chasing the bear, but the bear

is smart. He kneels down

to brush over his tracks with the soft

branch of a fir. He catches a hint

of her scent, and is gone. It’s not

that he’s afraid of Jane, he just

doesn’t want to meet her by himself

in the woods. No one knows

what she might do, if provoked. She

has no fear of bears. She’s always wanted

a dance partner taller than herself.

Sometimes she carries a bag of berries,

a slab of ham, to attract the bear,

preferably a grizzly. If she’s going

to go to all this trouble, she wants

to find a big one. She knows

he could rip her apart with those strong hands,

knows he could lift and toss her

out of his path, but she’s used

to the risk. She muses to herself,

“Can a girl propose?”

She decides not to stand

upon etiquette. He is afraid

she would embarrass him

if he introduced her to his friends.

She never did have much fashion sense.

“I am divorcing my husband and moving in

with a bear,” she announces at a party.

Then she plunges her hand

into a pot of honey. “Some sweets

I reserve for him,” she says,

licking her own fingers.

 from Body Painting