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Poem: "What Polar Bears Require" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "What Polar Bears Require"
This poem is spillover from the November 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "road trip" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Trope Bingo fest.


"What Polar Bears Require"


In the high north,
there are tour guides who
take people to watch polar bears.

Early in the morning, the guides
get up and search for polar bears.

They prepare their gear for the day,
rehearse recent environmental news,
and check for polar bears.

They eat breakfast with the guests
while watching for polar bears.

After breakfast, they lead a hike
through the frozen tundra
to see the polar bears.

The guides talk about
polar bears with the guests,
and sometimes, they even
talk to the polar bears.

Carefully, the guides
count up all their guests
and return to the lodge with
everyone accounted for.

What people do not realize,
until they have actually seen
the polar bears lounging on ice,
is the simple fact of adaptation.

For humans, the Arctic is
a harsh and inhospitable place,
but its conditions are precisely
what polar bears require to survive.

What is harsh to us is home to them.

Another thing the guests learn
is that the Artic is only half of what
polar bears require to survive.

The other half is human appreciation,
because people tend to save
only what they love.

* * *

Notes:

"For humans, the Arctic is a harshly inhospitable place, but the conditions there are precisely what polar bears require to survive - and thrive. 'Harsh' to us is 'home' for them. Take away the ice and snow, increase the temperature by even a little, and the realm that makes their lives possible literally melts away."
-- Polar Bears

Read about polar bear tour guides.

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