Only the thickness of log

and triple-paned glass

between my children and

the open maw

of a bear.


I slip warm chocolate chip

cookies from the pan

to the cooling rack -

their father loads the gun.


He fires a warning shot

from the porch

while the kids lick

the mixing bowl,


as the bear.


The conservation officer

brings a culvert trap

baited with

bacon, canned pineapple.


We could put out

a plate of cookies,

like for Santa,

the kids say.


Later, bedtime routine


by a metallic bang –

the trap slams shut.


The bear

peers toward the house,

sees the real nuisance.


Conservation officer returns,

we watch from the window

as they hitch trap to truck.

They'll haul it across

two rivers, mountains,

hundreds of kilometers

from our poorly-secured garbage,

our fresh-baked cookies.


Relocated, dozing

in a distant meadow,

the bear dreams

of my children

running through

his forest, eating

his berries,

their faces

swimming under glass

like salmon in

churning water.


Bibliographical info

Tara Borin, "Nuisance" from Best New Poets In Canada 2018. Copyright © by Tara Borin. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Best New Poets in Canada 2018 (Quattro Books, 2018)


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