Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

'Me And Teddy Bears - The Truth' (Exclusive) - Poem by Michael Shepherd

I’ve never owned a teddy bear (aw…)

my parents read the child-rearing bibles
of the time, maybe that’s what it was

but I’m not pleading deprivation or
mental abuse; into my life
came Rex the lion cub

we loved each other from the moment
I set eyes on him. We were about
the same age, that was taken for granted,
since he was my best friend and

of course, since I can’t compare
lion cubs with teddy bears since
I couldn’t at the time, I’m guessing
what the pros and cons might be:

Rex wasn’t someone you could easily
prop up on the pillow at the bed-head
and talk to – he didn’t do talking-to
since he had an existence independent of me

but on the other hand
he loved to be rolled around with
with his prickly whiskers
and good nature, with the reassurance
that he was a lion, small but already
with very practical paws and would
protect me if required; his eyes were always ready for fun yet
very much set on what was ahead.
I think lion cubs are a fair match for teddies
but I would say that wouldn’t I

there was probably a difficult time
when I fell in love with Pooh Bear
for life
but I’ve blocked that out
and my parents (child-rearing books again)
were very clever at removing toys at
the ‘right’ moment to enable their child
to grow up. Well that failed.

But Rex did prepare me
psychologically for
that first puppy who
welcomed me unhesitatingly
into his life

but just recently, to celebrate
my second childhood
I’ve taken to wondering if
it’s not too late to acquire
a teddy bear

but no taking the first one offered thanks:
I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur
rather like signing up with
a marriage bureau: OK but
there may be better
around the corner...

I wander discreetly (‘It’s for my niece…’)
round department stores
with all their vulgar rubbish,
charity shops with their loved, furry balding spotted
survivors hoping for
a second happy marriage
or happier

looking carefully at their expressions
full-face, side view
(Good God, are their manufacturers aware
of the diff’rence ‘twixt bear and bear?)
wondering if it’s The One

please keep this to yourself ‘cos
I don’t want my friends fixing me up
with some merry widow(er) of a bear
just because they’re sorry for the old git

I’ll take my time thanks
since I’d like to think
my previous partners will approve my choice
after all it’s for life and
we older and wiser ones have
so much to offer

Comments about 'Me And Teddy Bears - The Truth' (Exclusive) by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/21/2005 9:00:00 AM)

    what do they say? 'You don't pick the bear, the bear picks you.' great piece, Michael. i enjoyed its warmth.

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  • (11/19/2005 5:37:00 PM)

    As a self confessed arctophile (bear lover) it is important to wait for the right one, a wink or a wave caught in a passing glance often gives it away (Report) Reply

  • Alice Vedral Rivera (11/19/2005 7:52:00 AM)

    I enjoyed this - cute.

    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 19, 2005

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2005

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