Somehow There Are Still Deer · Melanie Greenberg

A man with too much money bought Spieden Island in the 70s to hunt exotic game. It was small but not too small, around 500 acres off the coast of Washington State. Its cliffs were the sheerest in the San Juans. He paved an airstrip and let loose fallow deer from Europe and sika deer from Asia and mouflon sheep from Corsica and too many gem bright birds. One side went barren from overgrazing.

This reminds me of us but i don’t know how. Am i the stolen deer or the bitter land itself? Have you conquered me? Are you the men or their dogs or the ever-hungry grazers? Am i just one bird fleeing?

Maybe you are the men and you are letting your dogs loose and i am the earth they tread on. Your deer run over my hip bones, graze at the soft place between each rib. Your birds make small homes in my eyelashes. The taxidermists wait in their cabins.


Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Melanie Greenberg currently studies poetry at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her poetry explores the different facets of being alone or unseen, and the comfort or confinement it brings. Melanie's work has appeared in The Sarah Lawrence Review and a Seattle-based young poets publication.