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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Marjorie Buettner

The Hunting

"The condition in life is to be hunted." Paul Gruchow

Visiting my sister in the Dakotas I am submerged by the expanding space surrounding me. The wind is raw and ruthless and the open sky seems wounded in so many ways. This openness has a terrible freedom flowing from it, a freedom that gives and that takes away at the same time. They used to call this freedom a certain form of "prairie madness." You get lost in this endless space of land and sky. Pioneers were often driven to suicide because of it: the wind, the relentless lashing of snow, the dust that surrounded a prairie house obliterating it. I think of this as I drive west on the highway toward my sister's home. The city is a brave defense against the emptiness which surrounds it, an emptiness filled with a wind that bruises you, cuts you in half, and leaves little room for silence.

autumn loneliness
the wind that never
calls my name