High Sierra: Bear Locker Protocols


By Frank Kearns

The protocols of the bear locker,
food and scented items stored communally.
The lockers are deep, so new arrivals
shove the earlier items to the back
which are then dug out by the owners
and returned to the front
in a sort of tectonic cycle.

The bear locker bag cycle churns and grinds;
the fetching, pushing, sliding and piling-on
is best survived by sturdy containers.
Woe to those who, unprepared,
deposit their neat paper grocery bags.

One day’s exposure
tatters, smashes and smears;
the contents spread like a paste
on the dirty steel floor.

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