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Friday, January 27, 2017


by Linda Lerner

Photo credit: Nick Cobbing at LegalPlanet

I thought of the polar bears when
he told me of waking up with
his arm flapping around like it wasn’t his

not right away, of course,
but after he’d gotten more accustomed
to it, like the polar bears

who’ve been unhomed & had to
scavenge for food on land when
the ice began melting,

told him I understood, though
I’ve never seen a polar bear or been
in his place; he thought that having scraped off the
last vestiges of immunity after a bad fall
I felt more vulnerable but that’s not what I meant,
something had gradually shifted; none of us
were where we thought we were;
one morning a stricken body politic
woke up flapping about in utter confusion asking
                                                what just happened 
my friend looked at me and asked,
one hand forcing the other to get past it

Linda Lerner has new work in Onthebus, Chiron Review, Gargoyle, and SoFloPoJo. In spring 2015, she read six poems on WBAI for Arts Express. Her recent collections include Yes, the Ducks Were Real and Takes Guts and Years Sometimes (NYQ Books) and a chapbook of poems inspired by nursery rhymes Ding Dong the Bell Pussy in the Well.