Viral

Viral

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Pinet, Carolyn

Fall. Frosts at night.
Days, unseasonable warmth suffuses willow,
aspens, brush: saffron, ocher, gold.
Foothills loom and swarm, scat steams.
And in the high school, kids on cells
are joined by tall, black, pungent, furry,
wandering a hallway, disoriented,
searching, like them, for the nearest exit
to anywhere, not there. Alert the principal,
call the cops. Call Fish & Wildlife. One kid shrugs,
aims his phone. The bear dodges out, is gone in
a dream. Facebook is clogged with hairy presence...
Across town, on a main drag, in a great willow
snooze a sow and her cubs, oblivious of traffic,
gathering crowd, their sudden stardom.
Parents round up kids. The neighborhood convulses.
“More bears spotted,” shouts the local headline.
Remember the “alien invasion” on the radio?
Or the masked sniper at Halloween
shooting randomly into the crowd?
With the bears it’s not like that.
Their nonchalance confounds us.
They are doing their thing, in the school,
in the tree. We, with our phones, our perpetual busyness,
are not about to argue. We stop and linger.
Cops keep the traffic flowing,
drivers slow and stare.
We, “civilized,” take more pics. We’re thinking “Wild!”

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