Gretchen Primack


Sample Poem

Love This 

The body floods with chemicals saying, Love this,
and she does, and births it; it is a boy
and she begins to clean and nose, but he is dragged
away by his back feet.  She will never touch him
again, though she hears him howl and calls back
for days.

Her breast milk is banked for others.  Her son
is pulled away to lie in his box.
He will be packed for slaughter.  How ingenious
we are!  To make product from byproduct:
make use of the child,
kill and pack and truck him to plates.

And when her gallons slow, we start over,
and her body says, Love this!   And she does,
though in a moment she will never touch
him again.  His milk is not for him.

And when the milk slows too slow,
she will join him on the line, pounds
of ground.  How we will dine!
And talk of our glossy dogs!  Her body
will break up on our forks, as mothers
beg us for the grain we stuffed her with,
and children beg us for the water
scouring her blood from the factory walls.

And when her wastes and gases and panic
heat our air so hot our world stops
breathing—then will we stop?
Then will we grow kind,
let the air cool and mothers breathe?

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Kind, asks you to explore the genre of compassionate poetry. In this book, author Gretchen Primack directs her focus on the world of animals. With quiet imagery, Gretchen captures the essential heart of our relationships with nonhuman animals—for better, and sadly, worse.

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If it is true that one knows oneself best by observing how one treats others then this book of poems by Gretchen Primack is essential reading. Read these poems for the truth they tell about our relationship to and treatment of the creatures we take to be our property; read this book and ponder its many questions, for example "Who are the beasts?" and "What can I do?" —Kazim Ali
How often does one get starstruck by a poet? When I read Gretchen Primack's animal poems, I was starstruck instantly. How could someone crystallize my own feelings about animals and humanity so beautifully, so powerfully, and so poignantly? Primack seems only capable of writing poetry so damn good that you will find yourself wanting to read it aloud to everyone you know who shares your compassion for animals...and to everyone you know who doesn't. —Marisa Miller Wolfson
Gretchen Primack knows that animals 'cannot forget hell for even a day, and so [she] cannot either.' She is infused with an abnormal amount of empathy, which fills her heart with kindness, awe, and hope. She wants to live 'somewhere else, somewhere kind,' so she spends her time shifting into that place where every being matters, and she takes us with her. —Sharon Gannon

Prints from Kind are available for purchase from the artist Susan Siegel at