Rebecca Hart Olander: "Seneca Deer"

Seneca Deer
By Rebecca Hart Olander

On the defunct weapons site, two hundred
white deer flourish inside chain-link fence,
leucistic wintery hides easy to spot at the edge
of the fir trees, whose serrated tops knife
the sky. In this Cold War storehouse of bombs
and ammunition, no wonder magic thrived
and multiplied once the site became a relic.
What is the opposite of war? Is it snow
in summer, packs of frosty bucks clustered
on the rusty railroad tracks? Is it the way
the bunkers, called igloos, have been emptied,
and the Army’s job is now to mow the lanes?
These animals glide across their enclosure, fallow
ghosts, while terror roams feral in the towns
of the world, no longer frozen, but burning.

Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently, or is forthcoming, in Brilliant Corners, Queen of Cups, and Radar Poetry, and her critical work has appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Books, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She was the winner of the 2013 Women’s National Book Association poetry contest, judged by Molly Peacock. Rebecca lives in Western Massachusetts where she teaches writing at Westfield State University and is the director of Perugia Press. You can find her at