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Gretchen Primack
Finalist : 2011 Poetry Contest


Listen to Gretchen Primack read "Fawn":


In the trail lies a body, white spots
big as nickels, hooves small
as dimes. He’s so newly dead
the scavengers have just begun
their work: only his muzzle is eaten.

Nature is not kind
or cruel. All beings destroy
to live: camels do, and fawns,
orange newts and their snails.
My dog hovers and sniffs, and I know
what she wants, her tail taut
then trembling, and she knows
what I want, pausing
under No.

But I am only a guardian
and take in impure dogs
full of Dog. So I keep on
without her, and when I loop
will see what I see.



Gretchen Primack teaches for, and is on staff with, the Bard Prison Initiative. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, FIELD, Poet Lore, and many other journals and are collected in a chapbook, The Slow Creaking of Planets (Finishing Line Press 2007). She lives in the Hudson Valley with a beloved human and several beloved rescued animals.
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