Doris Ferleger



I take after my father. Always running
               ahead of those I love.

The only time I remember us walking
               side by side was in the Rockies

where I wore bells to keep
               the bears away.

Words keep bears at a distance,
               the guide said, but bells will do

if you remember to jingle.
               Your jingling is too jangling, you joked,

as we hiked toward the teahouse at the mountaintop.
               So I put the bells back in my pocket,

and we held hands—all those years,
               the two of us,

chancing the danger
               of silence.