One Poem by Brennan Avans

One Poem by Brennan Avans

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Three Steps to Freedom

Is a pig still a pig if no one claims him?
If no one is raising him for slaughter?
I pass him on the way to the Indian clinic for a bad tooth.
One look at him, and I forget about the tooth.
He is a war-torn boar with three legs.
The dogs follow him.
The people let him have the path.
He is the mascot of the reservation.
With muscles flexing in the sun—
With an elder’s white hair—
The flies don’t touch him.
The children don’t taunt him.
He is more chief than the chief.





Brennan AvansBrennan Avans is from the Sonoran Desert of Mohawk Valley, Arizona. He recently moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to study creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a father, and he plans to write the next great magic realist novel. This is his first publication.

Header image by Moon T, courtesy Shutterstock. is the first online literary journal of place, publishing award-winning literature, art, editorials, and community case studies since 1998.