Just Right


Twenty years ago, she was just a wee thing.

Busted her sleeping in my bed. All that blonde,

spread like a blanket I wanted to hide myself in.

Mama wanted to eat her. Fried flesh, bone broth,

weave her hair into fish-catch nets. I said wait.


I woke to wait. There he was, staring down,

brown on brown on brown. I just wanted a nap.

I got a marriage instead. White dress needled with

shed fur. His mother’s eyes on me every step,

waiting for me to trip and fall.


She was a trophy wife, someone to show off over brawls and burrows.

Didn’t have to hang on the wall — a girl to come back to after the hunt.

She learned to chew berries until her lips stained the sheets,

to pull prickers from my paws, to like the way my teeth closed on her neck.

At night, I wrapped her golden fleece around me, snore-sang her to sleep.


His paws were big as my head, big as a bowl of porridge, big as

the creatures that chased my dreams. Lifted me and I felt

the right size, for once.


She never looks at me anymore. I pick silver-red hairs

off the hem of her dress. The bed feels too big for the both of us.

She cut her hair to the edges of her ears.


I’ve made porridge every day for a hundred years.

I can’t make a way to break this bed, the back, this bone

bind chair. Nothing is right anymore.

There’s a fox in the country.

He tastes like home.



Notes: From the prompt, told in the two voices of the bear and girl.

Read the daily prompt (as well as the inspiration beyond poem-a-day) over at Not Without Poetry. My goal is to write a poem each day in less than 20 minutes, and without additional revision beyond the writing experience