The Bear in the Labyrinth – Carol Flake Chapman

The old labyrinth was overgrown with moss
Small yellow apples fallen from the tree
Making bright bumps in the carpet of muddy green
As I walked the twisting way of the pilgrim
There on an autumn New England day

I walked in silence and empty mind until
I came upon a pile of what could only be
Bear droppings with seeds glistening like jewels
And I stopped, then looked around, startled
At a crackling in the woods, imagining a return

I wondered if she kept to the path in her ambling
As she smelled the fallen apples in early decay
And whether she ever made it to the center but
Meandered content on the edges of the pattern though
She herself was perhaps the center I was seeking

Carol FlakeAfter a career as a journalist and author of nonfiction books, Carol Flake Chapman returned to her earlier passion for poetry following the sudden death of her husband on a wild river in Guatemala. Poetry, she found, was the language of healing and of deep connection to the glories and tribulations of nature.