Slaughterhouse Flies

Charles Simic

Evenings, they ran their bloody feet
Over the pages of my schoolbooks.
With eyes closed, I still can hear
The trees on our street
Saying a moody farewell to summer.

And someone, under our window, recalling
The silly old cows hesitating,
Growing suddenly suspicious
Just as the blade drops down on them.

Charles Simic was a Serbian-American poet and essayist. Born in Belgrade, he and his family immigrated to America when he was in high school. He won numerous prizes for his poetry, including the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, and served as the United States Poet Laureate.
Originally published:
October 1, 1996

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