“Goodbye for Now” by Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess


A guy from DNR tracked the neighborhood bear, a yearling who’s been causing quite a stir on Facebook & in rubbish bins along Gordon Drive. Scraps, all it wanted, wandering in excessive Summer heat. Families can’t live with a bear on the street making a mess, marking its territory by scatterings of meat-scented plastic & a few violent markings on the trees. At first, the DNR rep swore the bear would be put down, its black/brown coat blooming lips & roses. But everyone has a camera. Photos posted in the Facebook group once reserved for neighborly complaints about fireworks or people speeding were like those of someone’s happy child at play in a brutal world. So, the bear will be relocated to a wildlife preserve. Plenty of space. Lots of caves & streams. There’s enough emptiness in West Virginia for any reclusive animal—a myth, a memory—escaping the limelight in which it never wanted to be like a murderer’s wife. 

from Rattle #72, Summer 2021
Tribute to Appalachian Poets


Ace Boggess: “I’ve lived in West Virginia all my life. All over the state. I’ve done time here. I’ve traveled the winding mountain roads in fog and snow. To experience a place is to be defined by it. For good or bad, who’s to say? I just write and let the rest sort itself out.” (web)

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