Sherman Alexie

Death Song for Polar Bear


Dear polar bear—pale warrior, snow
Walker, seal hunter, floe-to-floe
Swimmer—when you tire and slip below
The water’s surface, do you see ghosts

Of other drowned bears and join the ursine
Migration into a far north afterlife?
Of course not. But, polar bear, when you die,
I hope you are dreaming of blood and ice.


Copyright © 2013 by Sherman Alexie. All rights reserved. No reprinting or reuse of any kind without the author’s prior written approval.



Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Sherman Alexie is the author of, most recently, Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories. He has also recently published the 20th Anniversary edition of his classic book of stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Poet, short story writer, novelist, moviemaker, and comedian, Alexie lives in Seattle with his family.

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