The First North American Brown Bear in the Faughan Valley
The Brown Bear is not native to this island
yet here it stands in all its shaggy elegance.
From snout to tail, long as a people carrier,
as wide and as heavy as a Guinness lorry.
Poised on the edge of a steel platform,
raised above Frankie’s fishing lake,
its one-eared head bent downwards,
slurping the still water below.
Its body is covered in battle scars
and a cumin-coloured streak
runs from its neck to its legs,
The paws are twenty centimetres long,
attached to six centimetre long claws.
Paws for running, claws for digging
and jaws filled with chalky teeth.
For a second the bear raises its head,
before it begins to stare at the water,
awaiting the first leaping salmon,
a more patient fisherman I’ve never seen.
After a while a shadow appears on the lake.
The bear begins to tense before the fish jumps.
Taking the chance the bear pursues the salmon,
catching it in its mouth in ten seconds flat.
Enda Boyle was born in County Derry in 1994 and educated at the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast. Previous work has appeared in Blowing Raspberries. He began writing poetry at university. In his work he tries to describe the world of people, animals and plants naturalistically with attention to detail.