The Seal

Hesitating to open

The ancient reliquary,

I finally cracked the seal.

A mist of dust clouded my

Sight, and I gazed at a small

Mirror. My face contorted

Until, as my consciousness

Died, I recognized the smile

Of that blessed Saint Amun.


“Stay out of the mines,”

My mother had always warned,

Words that rang hollow

Photo by Engin Akyurt on

In my ears as I

Cursed my luck and my

Shattered leg. I had

Wanted to prove myself; now

I would die alone

In the dark. With a throat raw

From screaming, I spit

Out the forbidden

Name, “Bearshak.” Water

Dripped into my mouth from some

Unknown source, and I

Stood , and I could see

A fountain lit from

Below. I lapped at the cool

Water, felt my fresh

Grown fur dampen and my snout

Wet. I stood on legs

Strong and hairy. A

Staircase opened before me.

I ascended, the bear

God returned from eons past;

Let humankind weep.

Photo by Gabriele Brancati on

Role Reversal

Broken hearted by

The early death of those most

Dear, I became a

Physician, a scout

For Death, to better resist

Her unending work.

Yet somewhere with time,

The tragedy became the

Overlong life, not

The end. Finally,

I began to guide Death when

Merciful. My peace.