Hunting season comes to Facebook


So much depends on

a dead deer with a bloody mouth

dumped in a wheelbarrow

beside a grinning boy in orange.


He is quickly covered in adulation

and balloons. Nothing –

fighting fires in California, carrying water

to Flint – could earn him such praise,

the instant status of “man.”


I shake the confetti from my hair, take

a deep breath and a risk: “This hurts me,

makes me sad.” The counter-attack

is swift: Beauty is in my plate,

not in the forest.


The thoughtful ones say,

the bullet is kinder than death

by car or coyote. This is true of course,

at least when the shooter is skilled. But then,

I don’t want to see gloating photos

of roadkill either, or predators set

on deer for human entertainment.


Someone posts a CGI, a dancing doe

on her hind legs, waggling her rump

at the hunters. “Come and get me!”

She asked for it. Flashing those big eyes,

those slender legs, running away from me.


“Eat the heart first,” they advise each other,

an atavism that makes me shudder.

They look over at me, mouths and hands bloody,

and I feel the claws spreading my ribs,

the teeth in my chest.


About the Poet

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She has published her poetry and translations of Jean Tardieu’s in Blackberry, The Coe Review, Labyris, The Wayside Quarterly, Stand and The Dialogue of Nations; more recently in Writers Resist; and The Mark Literary Review; and Poetry Leaves (forthcoming).