THE TEDDY BEAR
That is a human curiosity –
endear what might destroy you in the wild.
Give children emblems of ferocity
to cuddle when they’re frightened, sad, or riled.
Take what is fierce and form it from tame cloth.
Forget that in the wild it would bite.
Forget its claws; forget its teeth, like froth
glinting against the oceans of the night.
Then stuff it up with cotton, as you stuff
all that is raw and frightening in life;
in nursery rhymes, reducing fears to fluff –
reach for a bear to calm a child’s strife.
A bear and not a mouse to cling to, hold –
illusion that the fierce can be controlled.