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The Broken Plate

My poem, “The Juvenile Bear with Gold Earrings,” is now out! Doubly Mad Journal. Summer, 2021.

https://doublymad.org/Doubly-Mad-Journal

THE JUVENILE BEAR WITH GOLD EARRINGS

I. 

We

leave strips of trimmed fat

from our pork loins, 

along with a discarded Yukon Gold,

laden with generous pats

of sweet cream, salted butter, 

and bacon crumbles as we 

flee the ashen rain at The Timbers.

The Juvenile Bear with a yellow tag in each ear 

swipes the loaded potato

with the skillful agility of a major

league catcher. 

Padded paws like mitts, no bone

china is broken.

II.

Poor men scavenge

harvested dirt rows the week before,

gleaning what the Spudnik had not pulled. 

Flour sacks heavy with worry and coup, 

their tongues click on about the measure of their dogs,

their chickens and their children. 

They lift furtive glances toward the red rim

of a distant forest fire that has driven

the bears down the mountain and wonder when 

the ferocious raiders will return.

On the dawn of a different day,

a frenzy of hungry bears tore open the belly

of a lame cow. Now shotguns are always loaded,

close at hand, in dusty Ford pickup trucks.

Poor men know what to do with thieves.

III.

The chief chef from Guadalajara at The Timbers

presses his palm against the blade’s back,

opens the tuber as fresh as manioc.

There’s a photo inside his 

flaked-leather wallet 

of his forever-little-girl 

whom he hears is all grown up in Mexico.

There’s talk in the kitchen

of a twelve-year-old whose calf was split open

on the wooded trail just above the tree line

by a mother bear.

The child survived.

Gracias a Dios.

The protective bear.

Dispuesto.

This chef knows survival is the reason

he cooks in America.

IV. 

A blaze roars in the river stone fireplace

at The Timbers. Crystal water glasses shine 

in this warmth. Four inches less snow

this season, hardly worth the price of air.

Seconds before, we were driven

in by the sudden occurrence

of frozen rain. It slashes at the blue

umbrellas.

There’s a sinking into the pleasures

of the hearth, a return to comfort

and the deserved luxury 

of buttering warm bread and tipping back wine.                                                                                            

A child’s gleeful alarm shatters this settling.

“Mommy, look. It’s a bear with gold earrings!”

We crowd the windowpane,

admire the brown beauty’s youthful.          

agility, a circus performance, a major leaguer

complete with a yellow tag in each ear.                           

We snapchat smartphone photographs,

take video with the latest generation

of Cinematix apps, and post on our Facebook Live.

Dancing from plate to plate,

the bear devours what is left of our fled feast.

We recognize its utter devotion to pleasure

and its risk of being labeled “bad bear.”

“Without his mother

he no longer remembers

how to be wild,” says

the chef, who’s emerged from

his kitchen to check on the commotion. 

“One more tag and he’ll be shot.

Waitstaff in crisp white uniforms

clap and stomp the bear back

down wet, wooden stairs

where it’s taken residence under the deck.

V. 

The bear retreats, but is drawn by the smell

of French fries, burgers, and ketchup as sweet as honey. 

Driven by hunger and insatiable desire,

it charges blindly up slippery stairs

where the memory of butter, pork, and potato 

glisters brighter than gold and fire. 


New Poetry Publication: Practicing in The Slag Review.

 

Practicing

by Patricia L. Meek

Let the lazy take you where it wants because you never know.

-Shaman Jim |

Widen your eyes as if in dying,

as if in death.

Surrender

your struggle

like the newborn

seal surrenders its first

hours to the blinding

tundra,

freeze,

and arctic light.

READ THE REST OF THE POEM BY FOLLOWING THE LINK TO SLAG REVIEW CURRENT ISSUE 10.

https://slagreview.com/2019/01/02/practicing/

 

 

 

IMG_1202.JPG

Photo by Patricia L. Meek, 2018.

 

 

 


Link

Laughing Trout (a different kind of love story)

3520a268910aec5873b47b9bbd4ed8aePainting by Kendahl Jan Jubb.

Laughing Trout

(a different kind of love story)

“Catching fish like this is impossible. I settle for staring at the current, which moves down over a stepladder of rocks into intermittent valleys of shadow.” from Laughing Trout by Patricia L. Meek.

Laughing Trout  is my short story published by Ball State University in their literary magazine The Broken Plate, Spring edition, 2017. You can read the story by finding the sample edition and  clicking the arrow.

http://thebrokenplate.org/issues/