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THE RETIRED BEAR
The storm gone,
the purple sky showed through.
The bushes began pulsating vigorously.
Smoking a cigar, an old man, become a bear, complained,
“Life didn’t use to be so difficult.”

There was a fireplace beside the old man,
and the flaming wood, thinking this a good time,
was crying out in admiration
and talked for quite a while.
But the old man kept silent.

The old man was reading
but just what, was unclear
because it was hidden by his paws.
Turning pages was very difficult.
His claws caught in the paper
and scarred it, like a child's knee.

In the kitchen a soup with potatoes and duck
cried out in joy.
It was a voice he had often heard.
After a bit the old man invariably mumbled to himself,
“Everyday at this time I have the auditory hallucination of a passing train.”
But it isn’t really a hallucination.

The old man cut the telephone line,
for he did not trust telephones.
“Only the voice is here but the person is over there.
I don't want to have contact” he said,
“with such clever people.”

Even so, he doesn’t think he has become
an inept bear.
But here where winter is long and people know only early summer,
maybe being just a bear is good enough for him.

A bird sang in the distance.
The old man soon recognized
that it was a wood thrush.
“If my nephew were here I could tell him so,”
he slowly mused.
Yesterday was his birthday.