Michael Estabrook


I’m flattered my wife told her girlfriends I
was a Renaissance man, that I
would know whether a black bear
or a brown bear is the more dangerous
of the two. I nod,
“It’s the black bear,
the black bear is more dangerous.”

“Why?” she asks, sipping her coffee.
“I thought brown bears
were grizzly bears.”

“Oh, no, they’re two different species.
In fact, the black bear and the brown bear
are two different species,
and because the brown bear
has been closer to people, to humanity,
for so many years,
they’ve become more familiar
with people, and subsequently less
aggressive. Whereas
the black bear’s range is higher up
and more secluded in the mountains
of North America, making them
more dangerous when they do
come into contact with people.”

She smiles and says, “I also
told my friends that you
would make something up
if you didn’t know the answer.”


Empty-nesting here in Acton, Massachusetts, with the last child off in college leaves me some time (between work and going to school myself) to finish about a thousand poems begun over the past couple years; also trying to get a real book of poems published, entitled “A Superlative Woman” (about my wife).’