Encounter by Martin Willitts Jr

In the sun’s meridian, meadows are steaming
with questions; the moon is omnipresent
as a night song, breathing love.

The familiar hills are in a different light —
shadows mirroring trees, furrows like worry
are ditches, fog burns off the drumlins —

a black bear swaggers, trying to look dangerous,
but it is a cub and it has lost its mother
while nosing around for blueberries.

There are inevitable and accidental moments.
Even a shallow stream has some tadpole.
Life has a door to see what’s on the other side.

I do not know if the cub found its way back,
or if the ransacked bush withstood the attack
or if the silence has stilled the hills.

Sometimes rash decisions are regretted
then life propels across the stream like a tadpole;
other times we take time to eat the blueberries.


Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks, plus 11 full-length collections of poetry including “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press, 2016).