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When the Hunter's Young Daughter Stands in the Doorway
by Diane Hueter

Picture the hunter's young daughter
in the doorway between kitchen and garage,
her shadow thrown down on the concrete
like a stain-- Her father looks up from
his task, perhaps because she opened the door,
perhaps because he expected someone else,
and he pauses as he hoists the bear's carcass
hung by its paws from the rafter. She thinks
it is sniffing the air.

Though her father insists this never happened--
He never hunted bear--still she remembers her shadow snagged
on the bear's yellow fangs, like a sweater sleeve caught
on a branch, unraveling, and her father could not
answer her questions, could not understand her sobs,
standing in his white tee-shirt beside the black bear's body,
his shirt the only gleaming light in the gloomy garage.
The bear's yellow teeth seemed
to gather sustenance there.

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