From a distance it resembled a rather large man in a fur coat,
leaning tenderly over the grave of a loved one.*
A bear follows the smell
of bitter meat, breaks open
the casket and eats, uses teeth
to separate fat from bone. Then
it teaches another bear how
to find the softest dirt, fresh-turned
and sweet. Together, they slip
their claws into wood seams
and wrench satin lining free.
Under each headstone, new tastes:
powder and bleach, a stiff ankle,
stitches, and ethanol to help
the flesh keep. The bears feast.
*From opening line of “Russian bears treat graveyards
as 'giant refrigerators'.” The Guardian, October 26, 2010.
Morgan Adams grew up in a small used bookstore in Lexington, Kentucky. To this day, she cannot pass by a disorderly bookshelf without attempting to straighten it. Her work has been published in Carillon: A Journal of Writing and Art and featured on The Poet's Weave podcast