Jennifer Firestone


 

From BEAR

 

Ferociously glancing at documents     she rubs her back on a tree     itching
bark shatters  on her fur     peeling     docilely holding documents     What is the
meaning?     Suddenly     Mama’s called     Bossy's words hummingbird     effortless yet
feverish.
Mama doesn't mean to cause waves or break the motion.     She emotes
cautiously.

 

* * *

 

When all is personalized
as if that red bird comes to visit me.
Might it not be for the tree that grows nearby?
When Bossy bats an eye
Mama's fur shakes
there's no mistake she's after me.
Mama stands upright erect directed with her nose to the sky.

 

* * *

 

Running     if she just speaks fast     she reckons this is false
run and words trailing     running and swatting a vine or fly
a buzz in the teeth     a grind   grind     there's always a wolf
hunter at his window.

 

* * *

 

Her mind hears crying     what if dying
the mouth stretching louder     her mouth
the baby’s flying     it's flying     but dying
perhaps struggling     death perhaps     setting
paper flying     lying     placidly     ringing
and her zeroing     sound     diminishing the phone
continuing.

 

* * *

 

Hello Mama, Bossy fires     teasing a smile
Knock knock Mama, you there?
(Barely.)
Mama obeys     complies with work games
teeming with insult and fire     fiercely passive
she responds further:
I'm a team player Bossy     I'm yours.