Incident in Hammond, Indiana

Gabrielle Freeman Click to

Gabrielle Freeman is a poet living in Eastern North Carolina.  She earned her MFA in Poetry from the low residency program at Converse College.  Her poems can be found in an assortment of journals, including The Emerson Review, Red Rock Review, Clockhouse Review and MiPoesias.

Click to hear Gabrielle Freeman read her poem, “Incident in Hammond, Indiana”

Long ago, a black-headed boy slung
his mail order rifle over one rangy shoulder,
withdrew from the world, unnoticed.
His footfalls entered damp woods
at the edge of town; hush of wet leaves
receiving – at once Indian, silent
in soft leather, and rabbit, velvet ears tuned.
Mist filtered through black branches
cloaked him.

Can I tell you his vision?
A clearing and an oak on fire,
flaming sword pointing skyward,

the weight of a thousand butterflies
drying their bittersweet wings.