Ryan Anthony DiBlasi, In the Zoo.  Markers on paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″

The cookie crumbled. Maybe milk was spilled.
Somehow I’d thought the bear might never know
This emptiness, of glasses just half-filled.
But Panda let a disappointment show
Too great for seven. Would that he could wait
For just another year – the little bear
Is still so cuddly. Next year, he’ll be eight.
And slowly now, he’ll come to be aware
Of leopards in the forest, and of loss.
And fairy tales that fail. A happy end
Left hanging. Countless bridges yet to cross –
But please, not yet. For now, let’s just pretend.
For now I’ll tuck him in, and say goodnight.
I’m sorry, bear. Sometimes the bed bugs bite.