SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Deer Cutting by Ann Dernier


trees are hinge-cut

                                                & left to bow              

                        to the wind     

to sever                                                                                                

                                                            & where the new growth begins     

            stump-sprouts             at deer height

for feeding       for thicket building                                         for quail & rabbit to hover

            thickets &                                thickets & thickets        through the forest

 underbrush to nurture & protect  

                         young leaves the most nutritious                                                       

                                                                                                                           but read on

this is done for hunters                       bait for a sure thing                             an easy shot

            when the thickets are full

                                                              let’s say I could still save us

let’s say at the hinge cut         in cross hairs                           whatever bloomed                               

                                    would feed us



Ann Dernier is Managing Editor at Kore Press. Her collection, In the Fury (Grey Book Press 2015), was short-listed for the Robert Dana Poetry Prize at Anhinga Press and the Crab Orchard Series First Book Award in Poetry. You can read her poems in Autumnal: A Collection of Elegies, Threepenny Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Poppy Road Review, Weaving the Terrain, Dos Gatos Press. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. More at anndernier.org.


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