American Pastoral / a poem by Tom Evans


the seemingly

disparate photographs


calling to mind

a childhood occurrence.


The photo of the

Abbey at Rievaulx

I’m looking at

looks very much

like the town

I grew up in.

I imagine the Cistercians

pacing the wooded grounds

in solemn solitude,

and suddenly recall

my neighbors

searching the woods

at the end of our street-


like black ants

combing the ground for food,

trying to find the boy

lured there

by a monster.


I was there

when they found him

in his death cramp

in the snow.

It called to mind

the picture entitled

“Big Foot in death”

from the battlefield

at Wounded Knee.







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