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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2014 - Vol. 11, Issue 1

"The Bear"

written by

Roger Batchelor

Winter slept without him for four months.

Warm outside.

He woke and moved into life again.

Forest without green greeted him, nothing moved.

The trees did not speak, the birds did not leave, silence.


He walked his woods in search of food,

Only desolation fills his hungry belly.


He roared once and listened, nothing, not even an echo.


He kept moving, small branches breaking

Beneath his heavy paws.


He walked all day towards the sunset.


He headed down the mountain

To the valley, his home.


The valley did not rise to meet him.


No movement, save the wind and clouds,

No smell of life in the air or on the ground.


He walked to the spot where he was born.


He sat.


The sun went down.


He sunk his form to the ground and waited.

Roger Batchelor hails from Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is a former naval officer, a veteran of both Iraqi Wars, the War on Terror, and the Cold War. He is permanently service connected disabled. He lives in Florida and is studying creative writing at the University of North Florida. He plans on using his experiences in his military service and life in general to connect with his fellow human beings. He believes that it is only through art that we can see each other as God does. He has a wife of thirty-two years and three children. His oldest child has just entered the Air Force.

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