Birthing a Cub
(a contemplation of the word "sang-froid")
'You are a lion,' Mom uttered, in my 50th
hour of labor. I should have corrected her:
a bear. Muscled mama, teeth set in a growl.
Like her father, coal mine's first responder,
rushing to the crushed and maimed. Too often
waiting with a body for the undertaker.
I'd like to think I'm strong like that. And strong
like her mother, who raised her young siblings
after great-grandmother Hinkle's breath stopped.
An ursine family, determined if clunky.
Padding from Revolution to Depression,
sniffing the air. Pausing to lap a brook, snare a fish:
always listening, claws at the ready.
- January 1, 2017