David Huddle

Bear and the Crows
August 9, 2013 Huddle David

Bear and the Crows


So many in the winter trees they caw

they swirl all through the blood orange light

Bear can’t decipher what they’re telling

though it’s him they’re squabbling over

him stronger than ever as night sifts

down on him like rain in these woods Bear

invisible to himself he must be lost

which is why he stands still now why

he sways clacks his teeth woofs at the crows

but doesn’t move he’s so strong now he’s not

concerned about stupid crows he could climb

that ash so fast he’d swat them from the sky

if he wanted to no bear is ever lost

even if he can’t find his way back to where

he was sleeping before the dream woke him

sent him stumbling out into snow so deep

Bear thought he was dead in his dream that’s what

he was now he sways clacks his teeth woofs

at what it felt like in his dream so weak

he couldn’t move with that stink like crow sound

he sways in the clearing woofs urinates

a long time soon the dark will make the crows

shut up and fly to their nests Bear will

not bawl like a cub stuck in a tree he

will stop clacking his teeth stand still for soon

a small fox will come sit down some way off

wait like a stone to see what Bear does next–

At dawn Bear will kill it in a flash crunch its

bones in his teeth leave shards to show every

idiot crow he is not lost just stronger.

David Huddle teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English.  His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in The American Scholar, Esquire, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Poetry, Shenandoah, Agni, Plume, The Hollins Critic, and the Georgia Review.  In 2012 his novel Nothing Can Make Me Do This won the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and his poetry collection Black Snake at the Family Reunion won the Pen New England Award for Poetry.  Huddle’s novel The Faulkes Chronicle appeared from Tupelo Press in Fall 2014, and a poetry collection, Dream Sender was published by LSU Press in Fall 2015.  In 2016, a novel, My Immaculate Assassin, appeared from Tupelo Press.  Another novel, Hazel, was published in 2019, and his most recent poetry collection, My Surly Heart, was published by LSU Press in 2019.  With Meighan Sharp, Huddle has co-authored a poetry collection, Effusive Greetings to Friends, which will be forthcoming from Groundhog Poetry Press very soon.



**Photographer:  Molly Huddle Coffey