Darkness

Written by: Jonathan Bellmann

My feet are cold; my tiredness lingers;
My back aches from stooping so low.
Dampened by the frigid water below,
I breathed warmth into my numbing fingers.
Again, I dipped my shovel into the coarse gravel
Of the stream dredging up with a gurgle
A mixture of pebbles and sand;
Into a bucket I poured it, firsthand.
In this wilderness I'm not alone, there's bear.
Mindful I am of the sounds around me;
A churning stream, rustling leaves, an elk groan,
Snapping twigs, anything that would put a scare
Or raise my hair. I looked around for a tree,
Somewhere to flee before darkness set in.
Not far from here, I spied a log cabin.
Into this stronghold I placed my supplies;
Nature's calm was just a disguise.
I latched its massive door; and bolted each shutter.
In its stone hearth, I started a fire;
Basking in its warmth worries melted like butter.
Outside, darkness enveloped the cabin;
Strong claws raked its walls peeling away its skin;
Relentless growling resonated through the dusty din.
Suddenly, I awoke huddled next to a glowing flashlight.
Shivering against the muddy walls of a beaver's lodge, 
I could hear the bear feverishly ripping 
Through the muddy grass, and the disjointed timbers 
Above me. Deep beneath the surface darkness arrived
Just, as my flashlight flickered, then died.