Summer 1961
Clinch Mountain
Little Tunnel Inn  

Dear Bear,
I bought this postcard, real photograph.               
                 Took all my quarter.
But you ain’t in it.                
                  Freed you, I did, by side of Clinch Mountain,
purple in twilight’s embrace.                
                  I, your witness wedged in family not mine,
watched the man rouse you with sharpen stick.                 
                  You stretched tall as me, brown snout open,
jaw popping.                 
                  Your coal-black fur rippled rage. Deep-throated
you pulsed threat.                 
                  The crowd held its breath. I held my tears.
You woofed my name.                 
                  I know cages, too.  

Your friend, `