Smack on his back in the snow,
as if he might stretch his thick legs
to make an angel, the bear is dead,
stripped of stomach and fur.
The hunter,Yuji Shiramata,
takes a picture with his new Nikon.
It is his first bear and his last.
In two days another bear will tear
the focus out of Yuji’s eyes
and leave him stumbling to his death
in Akita Prefecture. The bear
will sing of it deep in his throat
and stand on his hind legs
growling like an old man
having his picture taken.
Previously published in Hazards of Photography (Writers’ Center Press, 1980).
Roger Pfingston’s poems have appeared recently in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Passager, and Sin Fronteras. A new chapbook, A Day Marked for Telling, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Roger’s “Grady’s Green Studio” and “A Dancing Fool” are also in Reprint.
Object(s) to bring back to life: “Correspondence in the form of a letter, hand written or typed, maybe with a few corrected typos or crossed out words or phrases with something ‘better’ scribbled above or in the margin, a signature at the bottom of the page which is folded into thirds to fit the business-size envelope that requires a stamp and is addressed by hand, maybe even a quick afterthought inked on the back of the envelope after it was licked and sealed.”