“There was this bear cam”

There was this bear cam
on the Internet. It was pointed at a place
called Katmai National Park, Alaska. A few years ago
my friend sent me a link to it.
I would watch it sometimes
but I never saw any bears.
Maybe it was bad luck
because my friend said she saw bears.
All I ever saw was the enormous river rushing
and the tall pines in the background doing nothing.
I mean, that was OK, of course.
I loved the sound of the river
and wind in trees and the sheer thrill
that such a sublime nothingness
could be witnessed like this.

But I wanted to see a bear.
It seemed even more thrilling to be typing
in a cubicle and suddenly out of nowhere
there’s a bear on your screen
that maybe 50 other people in the world catch
a glimpse of. Maybe they are on a break from Facebook
or filling out a spreadsheet and BOOM, a bear.

So I thought while I was writing this
that I would just check the bear cam online
and sure enough a fat bear is in the middle of the river
eating a salmon right there in the Katmai National Park.
I get up from my desk and tell my colleagues
“You guys, come here!” and my colleagues
come in my office but by the time they run in
the bear crosses the river, or pixelated
screen or whatever, salmon in his jaws
and the only thing there is the river
and trees and they say,
“Sandra, this is boring,” and walk
back to their own offices.

More Poems by Sandra Simonds