Black Bear Inside Me, The (Paperback)
Becker celebrates the interconnectedness of creatures and places—never losing sight that much will turn out precarious, illusory, provisional. These poems speak, in ardent voices, about our affinities: an articulate, black bear mourns habitat loss; a frail man and failing dog become one; a scientist and her African grey parrot research language acquisition for thirty years. Ecologies interlace, as when a troubled family “sacrifices one member,/ as plants surrender leaves in times of drought.” Becker responds with rage and wit to corporate excess and intractable geo-politics. Love and friendship empower in wry narratives, though time “mows” down our days, though we may never escape “original cruelties.” Tragedies permeating our enmeshed, global identities haunt the book: the massacre of gay youth in Orlando; the terrors facing Cambodian teenagers working fishing boats. Wise, capacious, by turns unsettling and joyous, The Black Bear Inside Me incorporates histories and losses into a luminous present.