I completely apologize for my absent poem last week. I had hoped I could lob one off at the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone, but alas, I didn't. Yellowstone is beautiful bubbly earth and meandering rivers and will forever be a favorite place of mine now.
To the Grizzly Bears at Yellowstone
I need you to know that I have travelled 1,000 miles
with my boyfriend and our combined nine children,
personally shopped for and prepared 198 meals,
often by headlamp, the ingredients procured
from four ice chests and six clear plastic bins.
I answered double that many questions-
where is the sunscreen, my water bottle, how long is the drive?
Sure, I would like to be au naturel as well.
You don’t quite get the pressures on us humans,
never having to don high heels to make your legs look longer
or wear a necktie to be taken more seriously
or drive across town in a minivan
to wait in line at Walmart to buy camping crap you can’t afford.
I read you have over two million acres here in this
oldest national park, while I am confined to asphalt
and marked trails with stern warning, toting cans of bear spray
large as whipped cream canisters and worried my chapstick
will have you tear into my tent at night.
I get that park management decided it was better
for everyone if you bears weren’t encouraged to mug
for cameras and be handed food out car windows
or pose with babies,
but really all this getting up at five a.m. after
having barely slept in sub zero temperatures
at dizzying altitudes to drive through
foggy valleys to maybe catch a is that a grizzly or a brown bear
glimpse of you through a ranger’s scope
or having to suck up to someone
with a camera lens the size of a porn star’s penis
really feels excessive.
If it were up to me, I’d spray paint you all hot pink
so there are no traffic jams when someone
thinks the brown hump of a bison is your majestic backside,
and while I was at it I would dam up some of those geysers
so there were proper hot springs,
even risk getting a UTI while soaking with masses of foreigners
to bathe away the soreness from sleeping
on a half deflated air mattress.
If I were you I would take pity on us hairless,
fleece-swaddled nematodes whose senses are as
duller than the trees you use to mark your territories.
I’d amble across the causeway with my cubs in tow,
I’d wade through the streams that skirt the roadside
and swat dramatically at phantom fish,
I’d rise up in the meadow executing a bearish sun salutation,
I’d turn it on for the people, I’d give it up.