Never poke around in a dark cave
without checking for sleeping bears.
Sometimes they wake to follow you home,
lumbering behind with smiling faces.
While you sit in a fine flowered chintz
with a cup of cherry tea, nutbread
and triangles of toast, they arrive
The visitors enjoy this party more
than you, declining sugar and cream
for baser delights without benefit of napery
--unequal to the task, in any case.
How many bears? This isn't Goldilocks, let's say two.
After rutting joyfully in jam-sticky sweetness,
the bears return to their den, languid in satiety.
left behind like a thank-you note
your head in the broken chair,
a bit of toast curled stupidly at your mouth,
feral perfume your final adornment.
The ones who find your pieces look aghast
and say, "Would you look at that!
Do you suppose it could have been a bear?"
Too late now for explanations about the cave
or its beasts, aroused just in time for tea.
Never mind. They wouldn't believe you.
Sandra Soli's poems, flash fiction, and photography have appeared in more than sixty journals, most recently accepted by Burnt Bridge, Parody, Ruminate, and War, Literature, and the Arts. Recipient of the 2008 Oklahoma Book Award in poetry, Sandy enjoys collaborative projects with artists in multiple disciplines.