Mid-morning at Oswald’s Bear Ranch

by Anna Scott


Someone halved this apple before a kid dropped it
in the dirt. There are many apples here, left along the fence,

and many kids sticky with independence. Their parents stroll
past the skinned weasels hanging from the ticket tent,

poke their fingers at the cubs running in wet circles, rifle
through the t-shirt racks. You pick up the bruised fruit,

place it in my palm. I throw it to the bear sitting fat
and sun-drunk on the other side. It bounces off his stomach,

lands at his paws. He opens one eye, tips his long snout
to the cloudless sky. Yawns. You take my hand and we walk

toward the yearlings. The dandelions grow so tall here
in the summer. I crouch to retrieve another forgotten apple.

It would be rude to call these flowers anything but proud
with their toothy leaves, their scruffy heads aimed to the sun.

We watch as they sway in the breeze: messy weeds, stubborn
with yellow, sprouting between the crabgrass and wire.


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