A Bear in Provincetown
June 07, 2012
Apparently a bear is attempting to find summer lodging in Provincetown (poor thing must not realize that he should have had his rental all lined up by April). Wildlife officials are out attempting to relocate him to a less-touristy locale. Of course, hearing "Cape Cod" and "Bear" instantly made us think of Mary Oliver. So here's a poem from Why I Wake Early to listen to and read as we follow the ursine updates from the Cape. (You may also want to delve into The Truro Bear and Other Adventures for more thoughts on these wild beasts.)
UPDATE: The bear has been captured and relocated. But will he come back for Bear Week?
Listen to "Bear" by Mary Oliver from At Blackwater Pond
It’s not my track,
I say, seeing
the ball of the foot and the wide heel
and the naily, untrimmed
toes. And I say again,
to no one but myself, since no one is
with me. This is
not my track, and this is an extremely
large foot, I wonder
how large a body must be to make
such a track, I am beginning to make
bad jokes. I have read probably
a hundred narratives where someone saw
just what I am seeing. Various things
happened next. A fairly long list, I won’t
go into it. But not one of them told
what happened next—I mean, before whatever happens—
how the distances light up, how the clouds
are the most lovely shapes you have ever seen, how
the wild flowers at your feet begin distilling a fragrance
different, and sweeter than any you ever stood upon before—how
every leaf on the whole mountain is aflutter.
Copyright @ 2004 by Mary Oliver. First published in Why I Wake Early, Beacon Press. Audio from At Blackwater Pond, Beacon Press.
Bear photo by lazymonkey on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.