The Teddy Bear
By g.l. bass
July 2004
(the ghostbear still lives)
For Brian

8 years old,
Snows were deep then.
My friends and I built tunnels,
Caverns, hideouts,
In mounds of
Plowed-up like small
Mountains along the street.
Up and down Fairview hill,
Snow forts protected
Held shelter,
And were the makings
Of dreams, imagination,
And the hard work
Of young boys.
Snows were deeper then
And the
Nights were cold.

My mother and I built
A nativity seen
In the front yard,
Complete to details
Of the manger,
And a tiny Christ child
It was going to be Christmas
Looking out the dining room window
Of the small bungalow
Two houses down
From the corner,
The street light swept back and forth
In winds that carried
Deep snow,
High drifts and tales
Of wonder.
A small boy, up after midnight,
When the only light on
For blocks
Was the streetlight,
He was lost
In dreams of wonder.
The snows were deeper then.
The nights were cold,
And in all his wonder,
The stories playing out in his thoughts
Never imagined
The world would change.
It was going to be Christmas.

In the shop window,
Where the road runs down
The long steep hill to downtown,
Just around the corner from the 5 points,
A Teddy Bear with a crank in his back
A great fascination
For an 8 year old.
It talked,
"I'm your Teddy bear, I'm you Teddy Bear,
Hold me tight, Hold me tight."
Standing outside the window,
His mother, tears in her eyes,
Knew it was a battle.
His father determined, "He was too old
For Teddy Bears.
There were other things a boy
His age should want."
Pleading, his mother
Took the boy by the hand,
Went into the store,
Counted out all the nickels and dimes she had,
The Teddy Bear was his.
He sat, after midnight,
Looking out the dining room window,
Holding the bear,
Watching it snow,
Talking to the bear,
And the stories
Of his imagination
Were stories of wonder.
Snows were deeper then,
And the nights were cold.

Out the screen door
A full yellow moon
Rises like a great street light
In the sky.
July is near its end.
Many have been the changes in the world,
Many have been the loves
He's had and lost.
With heavy heart he's
Measured each and every one
And holds deep the toll and the cost.
How badly do you want
Something Back
You've lost?
How deeply do the memories
Bear upon your heart
A cross?
Is sacrifice a way of life?
Is wanting to know why,
More important
Than knowing how?
Once upon a time he
Ran down the street,
Jumped deep snow banks,
Up the steps,
And closed the door
On all the darkness
He was so unsure of.
Now he treasures the night,
But he still cannot close the door
On all the darkness.
What has really been won?
How do you save
The good from all
You've lost?
Perhaps when you've been able
To roll away every stone,
When you've been able to face
All the darkness alone,
Finding yourself
Is just as safe,
As jumping snow banks, climbing stairs,
And reaching home.

July is near its end.
It's 2004,
There aren't any doubts
About life
And change.
A large yellow moon
Fills the room
With pale ghost light.
He wonders,
"Does she know?"
Where ever it is,
Spirits flow,
Next to his bed,
In the red rocking chair,
There is a Teddy Bear.
The bear lost his voice
Long ago,
But the boy who once
Watched out the dining room window,
Now prays that she knows,
Her courage was not in vain.
The poet's found his voice,
And the Teddy Bear