The Problem

Michael Bazzett

                                     was the miniaturebears that became so fashionablewere prone to hip dysplasia    so those who had been         unable to resistowning a grizzly the size of a house    cat were forced to watch                the animalsslowly lose the function of their back legs    and drag their limbs behind them    in an uncanny echo                   of a miniature sea lion.What made it worse                             was how good-natured the little bears turned out to be,    how accepting          of their fate, as if they'd knowntheir legs would last only a short while,like the anticipatory grins    of those waiting in line for the tilt-a-whirl        at the county fair. Peopleused to post photos of the bears    holding plums between their forepaws,        tucking into the fruitlike a melon. A man in Seattle    thought it would be funny                to film his        wrestling with a salmon    but when the silver jaws                                        grippedonto the tiny furred limb and they both            flipped into the streamit went viral for the wrong reasons    and the look on the man's face        as he dragged the sodden hulkof what looked like a strangely delicate        woodchuck from the watertold us everything we needed to know.

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Michael Bazzett is the author of three poetry collections: You Must Remember This, Our Lands Are Not So Different, & The Interrogation.

Winter 2018

Portland, Oregon

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Win McCormack

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Rob Spillman

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Camille T. Dungy

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