local_library The Bear’s Feast

by Jessie Ehman

Published in Issue No. 261 ~ February, 2019

While you were away,

I listened to a podcast about bears.

Bears caught in flash floods,

bears walking upright,

bears flirting with evolution

in the wild north of Alaska.

And this one bear, in particular,

stealing peaches from a suburban

backyard in Georgia.

Each night, the bear would return

to the same yard and strip the trees bare.

In the morning, the homeowners

awoke to carnage—

It seems more than a little indecent.

How bears these days have no manners

peach pits strewn across the lawn

like shell casings, and the fruit itself:

skin torn from the body,

revealing the sticky, pulpy insides

sluicing to the ground

like bright organs.

The perpetrator nowhere in sight,

save for a bit of black fur

caught on a stray branch, a fence post.

“A macabre sex act,”

the police must have said,

shaking their heads in disbelief.

“The Jackson Pollock of bears—

The Peach: A Study in Excess.”

And there’s something in there

about bears and love and loss

and peaches,

and I wish I could tell you

why it means so much to me.


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My name is Jessie Ehman, I am 26 years old, and live in Puyallup, Washington with a room full of books and my three flat-faced cats. I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Poetry and Creative Writing (minors in Art History and Printing and Publishing Arts) from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington (class of 2014). I am passionate about my home state, nap-taking, and writing poems about love, loss, and bears.