©Sara Schupack, 2017

©Sara Schupack, 2017


I’m dying slowly, because of
where the lead ball hits,
The humans are so predictable,
so clever
and yet stupid.
And it’s always only about them.
I am loved because I resemble them. I walk on two legs. They give me a cute name to bring me closer, Pedal. At least it isn’t Petal, but I fear they might man-handle me into a tutu and make me perform at kids’ parties. They shoot me in pictures and catch me in words and raise fuss and funds to protect me, to move me somewhere safe. Others fight to keep me here, my ‘natural’ place, As if there is anything that isn’t nature. They are nature. They are we are the earth. The hunters are the most honest, like the fellow who fells me. I have some respect for him. If he makes use of my meat and fur, his sudden violence makes more sense.

I am proud of the bipedal walk.
It takes a lot of practice letting go
of those front paws.
It aches. I’m bigger,
hairier, stronger, than they.
Dare I say better?
I do say better, and
I’m ashamed to admit,
I strut
on those two legs.
I perform
when they aim cameras at me.

But then I wake up. I wake up to the buzzing bugs and crunching leaves and smells of tiny, faraway critters that are part of me –those I eat, those I sniff, those I walk on, those I hear, all part of me and I part of them. These human types are dumb when they think themselves separate. And superior. They have to create clans between themselves. What really excites and motivates them is winning against the other side. Do any one of them just sit still and observe? Try to appreciate me and for that matter, other bears who aren’t deformed into human shape as I am? No. They are busy, ever busy, stirring up bile called a cause and finding purpose in attacking another clan.

I’m going now, and that is fine.

This human hate stinks more than my biggest pile of scat and enough is enough.


©Sara Schupack, 2017

Sara, a TC from the late 90’s, lives in Chicago, works at a community college, and misses the ocean.

3 Responses to “Back Pedal by Sara Schupack”

  1. carlaspeak Says:

    I did not know of Pedal’s demise until I saw it through your voice. I think I skipped the news for a strectch of October to preserve small clutches of sanity. Thank you!

  2. David Braden Says:

    Thanks for giving voice to a bear who stood for so much more. Also, really liked the Visual Poem that illustrates it!

  3. judybebelaar Says:

    I love this poem, Sara! It does voice to the bear in these times when animals and the earth need our voices.

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