Far away to the northwest, under winds
the color of ice, a mother polar
bear dreams of seals rising. She shelters her
young from dark skies over dark seas. Infants,
born pink and half-formed in the cold and dark,
suckle away, through her teats, seal blubber
she stored for them. Seals whose dream heads, mottled
like plover shells, she cracks between her teeth.
In her sleep, shadows of seals dart under
thinning ice, emerge to breathe the sun’s
bright spray. Her dreams portend her breaking through
the surface. Her paws churn the expanding
ocean. Her white bulk sinks under the waves
while hope, the vernal sensibility,
twitches its terrible secrets in her
sleep, stalks the horizon’s expanding warmth.