The Truro Bear
by Mary Oliver
There’s a bear in the Truro woods. People have seen it - three or four, or two, or one. I think of the thickness of the serious woods around the dark bowls of the Truro ponds; I think of the blueberry fields, the blackberry tangles, the cranberry bogs. And the sky with its new moon, its familiar star-trails, burns down like a brand-new heaver, while everywhere I look on the scratchy hillsides shadows seem to grow shoulders. Surely a beast might be clever, be lucky, move quietly through the woods for years, learning to stay away from roads and houses. Common sense mutters: it can’t be true, it must be somebody’s runaway dog. But the seed has been planted, and when has happiness ever required much evidence to begin its leaf-green breathing?