Near Bears Ears

by David Feela

I should go there, to the mountain
where the trail to the Bears Ears begins.
According to friends, it’s always busy,
a half-dozen or so cars parked at the trailhead.
Most hikers would be climbing the bear’s spine
by the time I’d arrive.
I’m a late starter.
I’d be wandering around its ass
glancing up, thinking how much like lice
we hikers must be to the bear
that belongs to those ears.
Once coming up a trail
on the way to Kennebec Pass
a black bear stepped out of the trees
and turned toward me.
I couldn’t help it.
My eyes grew wide as caverns.
That bear still lives
inside me,
its breath shallow but steady,
its ears alert,
its eyes turned inward
toward its long cold season
of dreams.