brown, black, polar white like the whooshing blinding snow
that is almost gone.
The bears too, they, are almost done.
Grizzly bear paws cut for ashtrays
to display on your ivory table.
Snub your smoke into his palms,
he could wipe out your eyes with one claw.
Black bears in Asia
killed for gall bladders
Pestle and mortar.
Ancient medicine, ancient Money.
Bears changing range
searching for their northernmost
so they can breathe, eat, mate.
Bears displayed behind cold steel
where lions and tigers already weep
and gorillas draw sad faces
in their own shit.
Here today, gone tomorrow.
In Churchill, Manitoba,
polar bears lumber through during migration.
They walk in silence,
owning the town.
No one locks up their houses
so they can scramble straight into the nearest home,
even barricade the door
if they’re quick enough--
Colleen Wells’ writes from Bloomington, Indiana. Her work has appeared in Potomac Review, Ravensperch and Workzine. She is the author of "Dinner With Doppelgangers – A True Story of Madness & Recovery and editor of One in Four," an anthology of student mental illness narratives.