Skinning Deer

Butcher’s Son Did Not See Rural Food Insecurity

When I was a kid, grizzled men returned from Penn’s

Woods during deer season and the lucky ones

Knocked on the back door asking if the shed was

Unlocked so they could hang their doe or buck on

The meat hooks that hung from the cross beams.


On occasion Dad would let me pull the hide down,

Starting at the hind legs, which were up top at the

Hooks, tearing it away from the muscle and sinew

Until I reached the neck down at the cement floor,

Which was covered with refrigerator shipping boxes.


What was really fun is that sometimes I would hang

On the hide, my weight and gravity doing the work

To skin a deer, with little effort required on my part.

What I did not know while laughing was: some men

Were providing food security for their poor families.

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