The polar bear was depressed.
He spent his short, unhappy life
seeing nothing in the eyes of the crowds;
nothing but the features of his fellow bears
drifting on their ever shrinking ice-floes.
It wasn’t easy being the public face
of an endangered species, winging
the world on the face of a stamp.
The polar bear was depressed by fame,
for fame (as fame is wont) was killing him.
Was the polar bear pining to death?
Pining for his keeper (Rest In Peace)?
Pining when the crowds went home?
The bear was depressed and growing fat
on the croissants they’d tossed him all day,
his teeth failing, his girth spreading.
He was depressed about his mother
who spurned her cubs for unknown reasons;
who left them clinging to foreign rocks.
He was depressed about his brother,
who had died of an infection. His father
tried to kill him. He’d brushed off the blackmailers’
death threats: ‘Knut ist tot, Donnerstag Mittag!’
The polar bear was depressed: all that pressure
of being a stud, preserving your species;
the threat of castration to stop him inbreeding.
Those bullying females – Katjuscha and Nancy –
who spurned him, growling he ‘didn’t have it in him’.
You’re damn right the bear was depressed.

Andy Brown
Pic Mike Lesser

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