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Published: Wed Oct 15 1975
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
Hunting Season

The bed is the wrong bed.
The house is all wrong.

One by one,
The birds lift their nests
Away from the eaves

And fly sadly away.
Slowly, the animals
Walk backwards into the woods

And the pines walk back
Into the clouds.
There is a thick, thick fog.

The compass rusts.

It is the first day
Of open season.
They will be hunted down

And they touch each other’s faces
For the last time
Like braille.


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Susan Fromberg Schaeffer is the author of fourteen novels, a collection of short stories, six volumes of poetry, and two children’s books. Her numerous awards and recognitions include the 1974 Wallant Award, three O’Henry Awards, and a Professional Achievement Citation from the University of Chicago Alumni Association in 1996. She retired from her teaching position at the University of Chicago in 2009. (updated 7/2010)

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