In the recesses of an old man’s mind
Is a memory veiled in gray:
Long forgotten and left to decay,
Two creatures lay intertwined.
Their figures are now empty shadows,
But many years ago they were rife
With feelings, souls, and precious life,
When they met that day in the meadow.
One of these figures was the lively child
That the dull old man once was.
The other was a bear with mighty jaws
But who was, in his peace, quite mild.
The bear was grazing in complete serenity
As the boy had watched from the trees,
His heart filling with a quiet peace
And a profound sense of empathy.
But with the boy, was his callous father,
Who in his age had lost compassion.
He raised a rifle in solemn fashion,
And pulled the trigger without one falter
And through the air sailed a lone bullet.
The bear’s legs, each a pillar,
That had raised the graceful being,
Collapsed as the soul was leaving:
A sign of triumph to the killer.
The boy ran forward with cries full of anguish
And enfolding the one he had empathized with,
felt the faint heart: the poor soul’s pith,
Whose beat, once strong like his, would now languish.
The hunter yanked up his son with rough hands
And donning the role of a stern teacher,
Asserted the inferiority of the creature,
And glorified mankind’s supremacy in all lands.
From then on, the boy succumbed to what society said he must:
Accept the ultimate superiority of his kind
And leave his bond with the creature behind.
So, buried deep in his past, the memory dwells, forever collecting dust.