“The Polar Bears’ Secret” by Jan Darling

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Dear Jame-y you defame me

I’m not white at all.

This is a subject of confusion –

I’m just an optical illusion!


The colour white is made of light

All the colours blended bright.


But me – I’m a Polar Bear

Not one colour do I wear!

Except my skin – my skin is black!

But please don’t feel you’re taken aback.


What trick is it that shows me white?

A strange reaction of the light?

This strange reaction’s not refraction

But something closer to attraction.


I have two kinds of hair – one long and strong:

Tapered and hollow, if I’m not wrong.

It’s filled with air and called the ‘guard’

(Understanding this is really hard).


It’s made of stuff just like our nails

Not unlike a fish’s scales.

When sunrays hit my hollow hair

They bounce around while they’re in there,


They create a kind of incandescence

Something like a ‘transparescence

In Polar Bear’s it’s the quintessence

Of what is called our luminescence.


So – every time my hair sees light

It makes my coat look really white!




PS​ The other kind of hair I wear

is short and thick my warmth to snare.



Jan Darling

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