Editor’s note: Freeman’s work contains very authentic and difficult adult themes.
Above, original artwork by Tennille Blair-Neff
Our entire family stands together for the last time ever
All thirteen of us smiling toward the lens from in front of
A red and green hollyhock hedgerow,
Holding egg cartons and Easter baskets,
It is the last Holiday together as a family before
Mom and Dad take us four kids
Off to be missionaries in Kentucky.
Our entire family is willingly blind to reality as
They protect the secret from
Behind a façade of being the picture- perfect Christian family.
My bangs hang to my eyes, big ears poking out.
Our good Christian family is celebrating Easter with
The Pagan fertility ritual of hiding and searching for decorated eggs.
My well-developed older brother stands tallest in back, I’m in front being small for eleven.
Like Pan, who rapes the innocent nymphs each day,
Brother has his way with all his siblings and cousins.
The eggs are hidden as if they’re shameful acts best not exposed
Some to lie and rot until the mowers come to crop the grass down.
My little cousin has dropped a chocolate egg, crying as its sticky cream is oozing out
An innocent crack; Like Pan, Brother smiles wickedly
I stand with veneered happiness believing
My smile can fix everything.
Brother focuses on me again,
Far away, I reel as he drags my body
Off again, to celebrate Easter.
“BE! We are all BE-ings. At Writers and Artist night we ripped back the veil, showed the world our souls through our writings and art, and stood bare. That’s the joy, being able to show our true selves through all forms of Be-ing. To recognize that each of us have the Power: the Spiritual Power, The physical Power, Intellectual Power and Emotional Power to do and be, to create, draw and write, whatever we want. This coming together of Souls was an amazing experience, the laughter, the tears, the joy of connecting…Be-ing the Community we all wish to be. I am overjoyed to be a part of State of The Ozarks and look forward to co-creating this wonderful Community together.” — Freeman