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I watched a cooper’s hawk stand tall
over its feathery prey this morning.
I stood stock still at my window, fixated
on the massive bird with dead mourning
dove splayed and torn beneath its talons.

Giving into checkmate, I dropped my eyes,
climbed to attic, removed bins, boxes, sleds,
and more in order to flush fierce raccoon
from the shadows where he lurks and snarls
from safe perch behind the heating ducts.

At lunch, empty handed, again I took up
my window station, but only the songbird
carcass remained, the hawk long off, but
leaving more than a trace, and bloodier
than the raccoon’s shredded debris field.

Come evening, I sat behind you and
watched as you arched your back
at the head of the table and tore into
our work, the satisfaction of the brutal
dismembering smeared across your face.


Ann E. Wallace’s poetry collection, Counting by Sevens, is forthcoming in summer 2019 from Main Street Rag. Recently published pieces in journals such as Mom Egg Review, Wordgathering, Snapdragon, Rogue Agent, and Riggwelter can be found on her website She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is on Twitter @annwlace409.

© 2019, Ann E. Wallace

One comment on “Carnage, by Ann E. Wallace

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