She Chronicles presents: Petru J. Viljoen

The Woman and the Bear
Thus she was found:
scraping salt from her cheeks
with an open blade
working towards the
open throat looking on
with reckoning, bloodshot eyes.
Such, such intention
she was (able to) made to harness
By whom? … you may well ask
She was made to harness such
intention,
step by step up
a tall mountain
one foot exactly
in front of the other …
you haven’t said thank you … She froze.
from deep
the shriek was fetched,
strident rising outrage
screaming cadence.
Crashing up through
slabs of concrete silence
sustained sound relentless
growing roaring, howling;
the very earth, appalled,
doubted its foundation.
The bear by now awoken
bristled, bellowed its outrage;
a crescendo,
the very air felt threatened
of being rent.
the woman at its throat – the bear …
have mercy …
the mountain shook
her soul who heard
the call and rose, persisting through its
rise abating softly, softly rising
insistent, illuming,
until she heard,
and let it go.
-written April 2014
_________________________________________________________________________________
A Note from the Author:
This poem is loosely based on the folk tale ‘The Crescent Moon Bear’ as
published in Women Who Run With the Wolves in chapter 12: Boundaries
of Rage and Forgiveness by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

More information on the author can be found at: pviljoen.wordpress.com

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