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The Chainsaw Bears

Erin Elizabeth Smith

The chainsaw bears are lonely –
the sunglassed tourists stroll

the boardwalk with latticed hands
and everyone in this vacation town

seems to be in love. The bears should
know better, but they can’t want

like that. Carved from the solid
trunks of felled hemlock

they have no stomachs
that hunger, no blood that burns

beneath the skin. Not even
cupped paws to offer,

gesture ‘Closer’ or smooth
another’s splintered back.

In their bodies there is nothing
to fill, no holes to mend.

Just the stiff hope that today
they’ll be arranged on the store porch

so that someone will brush by
with palms or open fingers,

or stop and look into
their black, unblinking eyes.

Erin Elizabeth Smith

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