The Day I Turned Into a Bear
There were funny looks at the station, and
gasps as I clambered onto the train.
I was pleased to secure a double seat,
and that nobody checked my ticket.
I had a perfectly valid one,
and don’t know of any rules that say
you can’t have bears on a train, just
I don’t like to cause any trouble.
At work we agreed it was probably best
if I didn’t see any customers, so
I spent the day answering emails,
making the tea and filing.
I took a longer than usual lunch,
which gave me time to go to the woods,
find a few berries and plants to eat,
and attend to some personal business.
By the time I got to Sainsbury’s, I
was getting used to being a bear.
With a satisfied growl I flipped a fish
out of the fridge compartment.
The queue dispersed. I said that I didn’t
need a bag, or help with packing,
thanked the cashier for their help, carried
my dinner home in my teeth.
I wasn’t intending to go to the pub,
but there was nothing on television,
nothing that would appeal to bears,
so I dropped in for a pint.
I knew I would get a ribbing, of course.
Everyone there was taking the piss.
I lost count of the number of times
I heard the “long paws” joke.
In the morning I was relieved to find
that I was no longer a bear, but
my porridge was far too cold, and I had
a very sore head.
Joe Williams is a writer and performing poet from Leeds. His verse novella, ‘An Otley Run’, published by Half Moon Books, was shortlisted for the Best Novella category in the 2019 Saboteur Awards.