Fathom Mag

Good Grizzly

A poem

Published on:
January 14, 2019
Read time:
2 min.
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Good Grizzly
by Quina Aragon

It was
a ravenous love,
mother for cub,
a thrashing, visceral
the trees testified to—
     even the wild has rules.

It was
ravenous love,
mother for cub,
that led
through frigid West
to find food, finding instead
metal and guns and men
(they hunt for fun
or for fear of being hunted)—
     machinery makes the rules.

It’s just
ravenous love
low and fast attack
to vanquish the danger
to protect
filial affection
from fecal intentions—
     they caught her cub in a trap.

See her now
playing dead
to get him back.
“Now that’s
a good grizzly.”

This poem was inspired by the inhumane practice of family separations, which has been used as a weapon by our government to deter persecuted, impoverished families from coming to the U.S. I imagine a mother grizzly, instinctively seeking to protect and feed her cub, met by men with powerful machinery. The men’s fear of the stranger guides their actions. They unnecessarily trap her cub. Their “might makes right” despite the natural desire of the “mama bear” to protect her cub. 

The last stanza depicts the mother grizzly playing dead in order to appear docile and compliant so that she can get her cub back from these men. This ending is fantastical and unrealistic so as to point to the fact that it is unnatural, traumatic, and inhumane to rip children away from their parents. The political motive behind the zero-tolerance policy was to deter immigrants and asylum-seekers from coming to our borders. The current administration has made it abundantly clear that they consider an incapacitated, detained immigrant the safest kind of immigrant (“Now that’s a good grizzly.”). What a tragic forfeiting of all the wonderful contributions these immigrants would have offered our country had we not brutally detained, stripped, and deported so many of them. 

Quina Aragon
Quina Aragon is an author and spoken word artist who resides in Tampa, FL with her husband Jon and three-year-old daughter. Jon and Quina are members of Living Faith Bible Fellowship where they serve as small group leaders. Her first children’s book, Love Made: A Story of God’s Overflowing, Creative Heart, releases February 5thwith Harvest House. Quina’s articles, poems, and spoken word videos have been featured on The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, Journey Women, and The Witness: BCC. She blogs at her website QuinaAragon.com

Cover photo by Imat Bagja Gumilar.

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