Poems of the Week


by Julia Griffin

For Tam and Sophie

“Bear found stuck on power pole in southern Arizona city …
Werner Neubauer, a company lineman, said they immediately disabled the power so the animal
would not get electrocuted. Neubauer then went up in a bucket lift and used an 8-foot (2-meter)
fiberglass stick to try to nudge the bear to go down. He even tried talking to it.”

“Oh bear, permit me please to nudge:
(I would not wish to knock):
For you’ll receive, unless you budge,
A sharp electric shock!”

Though thus the lineman urged, and waved
A stick, of length two meters,
The bear, refusing to be saved,
Replied to all entreaters:

“O humans, cease to trouble me;
I would not be facetious,
But this is quite (a tendency
With all your species) specious.

“Aloft, alone, I’ve settled on
My stationary position
In honor of St. Simeon,
Who fired my life’s ambition;

“And though you may assume a guest
For me’s a social highlight,
Please understand that least is best
For any ursine stylite.

“So please remove yourself—I’ll say
No more, for I’m refined;
Just note, it’s best to go away
Without a bear behind.”