Excerpt from Bears in Autumn by William O’Daly

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The following poem appears in Tiferet’s Fall 2016 issue. The entire issue is available for immediate digital download.

What is this hunger, the calm roiling the pond,
whose eyes, cooling among the flames —
the bears refuse to burn with the thicket
like the names of those we’ve forgotten.

Leaving because we must is never easy.
The first day we hold them we never let go—
it is because we love them they must go,
and we see it first in their eyes.

They are excited, the young bears, heads emerging,
swimming with the white and blue currents of beginning—
they leave the forest, the cave of white light, no longer underground.
Mama trudges because she must — protecting, helpless.

William O'DalyWILLIAM O’DALY has published three chapbooks of poems — The Whale in the Web with Copper Canyon Press, Yarrow and Smoke, Water Ways (a collaboration with JS Graustein) and The Road to Isla Negra with Folded Word Press. He has published nine translations of Pablo Neruda’s poetry, the most recent being Crepusculario from Copper Canyon. Learn more at: http://williamodaly.com