"Open Season," written and read by Kate Peterson



There’s a hum at the window,

rain or wind through the yellow death

of autumn. Somewhere a doe is lifting her soft face

in a clearing, chewing the red skin of an apple

so delicately she can hear the man who lured her there

as he lowers his sight through the trees,


and you are waking with no idea where you are.

You tell me there is nowhere left to go in this world

where someone isn’t looking at you

from behind a barrel. We’ve been up for days,

watching, listening to the hum, as if life goes on.

The skin under our eyes is murky

like the creek bed where our mother taught us to sing.


Being good is not enough, she’d say. You’ve also got to be loud

sometimes. When men were hiding in the trees

who could mistake us for the innocent creatures

they were killing as our sandals were sucked off in the mud.


They will keep climbing into towers, to wound us

for the thrill of it. As we flash our bright tails

in surrender, they will fire from above.


— Originally published in RattlePoets Respond
December 4, 2016

Read by the author at Spokane #WritersResist at The Women's Club, January 15th, 2017


Kate Peterson: “This poem is written, as I am sure many have been, in response to the election. This is mainly dealing with the fears many women and the LGBTQ community have about living in Trump’s America.”