A poetry collection that addresses the need for ethical and responsible living in the face of environmental crisis.
In the title poem, Stever describes a world where "nothing survived / after the horses were slaughtered." She does not blame anyone for this catastrophe, but she does point to the inaction of those in power, who "pucker / and snore on the veranda."
Stever's poems are full of vivid imagery and symbolism. She uses animals, such as beavers, to represent the natural world, and she uses human folly to represent the dangers of environmental destruction.
One long poem describes the accidental death of a relative in a cold war era fallout shelter. The poem ends with the observation that "He had no known enemies"--except, that is, for his own folly. This poem is a reminder that we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the environment.
While it may be too late to avoid the consequences of our past environmental sins, Stever's poems show us a possible way forward into more harmonious and humane living. She reminds us that there is still beauty in the world, and that we can still make a difference if we choose to act.