Unbecoming a Bear – Poetry Friday

Deep in the heart of my first VCFA residency, so this intro is a bit briefer than my usual. The Poetry Friday Roundup is over here. I’m honestly not sure what I think of this one. Funny? Quirky? Weird? A coming-of-middle-age story? Let me know…

Unbecoming a Bear

by Jim Hill

Ten-year-old-me,
Wished to be a
Skin-changer – a changeling –
Who could become a bear, like Beorn,
You know, from The Hobbit.

At Thanksgiving,
Eyeing the
Hair on my arm,
A nephew asks,
“Are you a werewolf?”

During story-time,
As Max commands
the Wild Things,
My son pets the
Hair on my hands.

Now in the bathroom,
Middle-age-me squints at small tufts,
Clipping-tweezing-plucking,
Undoing that wish.
Unbecoming a bear.

22 comments

    • Jim says:

      Thanks, Tara. I thought about self-censoring and never letting this see the light of day. Decided I’d rather squelch that self-censor and be weird.

    • Jim says:

      “easy, introspective and a dash of self-mockery” it’s like you know me! Thanks for popping in and joining the Poetry Friday fun.

    • Jim says:

      Thanks, Julie. Residency was amazing. Any second thoughts I had vanished immediately. I’m doing the right thing for my writing.

      You were great on the Brain Burps podcast!

  1. Linda Baie says:

    Must be fun to do the residency! I love the poem-quirky & slick, plus I just knew that men had secret things they did to pluck & shave or ? how brave is that to even wax poetic about it!

  2. Ed DeCaria says:

    I like the “coming-of-middle-age” concept as it ties back to a previously held POV as a kid. All the playfulness of a children’s poem, but directed squarely at adults. You might be onto something (but I suspect you already knew that).

    • Jim says:

      Thanks, Ed. I think we could start a whole new category, or at least an anthology with “coming-of-middle-age” poems. Hmmm, there’s something to think on.

  3. david e says:

    tweezing and plucking is *very* unbecoming of a bear. ear hair. that’s what drives me nuts. what the heck is the good of that? anyway, when you’re home from the rez and have a moment i think you’ll find the poem better than you realized.

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