The Fourth of July

by Sarah Duncan


I told you I wanted to know

what our flag is and you said it was

all hero, a kind of soft night

light in the hallway

so you can make it

to the bathroom without falling,

you said it was a quilt, wrapped

around mountains and snow drifts,

sleeving the arms of trees,

like purple, like mountain, like majesty,

you said it’s a taut man

in green with a barrel in his

hands the shape of freedom,

you said it’s our name, child,

your hands, your feet, and you

told me to touch it

so I gathered in my fingers

a piece of cloth, red-wet,

blood-dry, heavy with the sound

of last words from brown mouths


Created: July, 2016

Age: 29

State: Wyoming

Sarah Duncan currently lives in Laramie, Wyoming, where she's getting her MFA in creative writing. She is a queer multidisciplinary writer, performer, educator, troublemaker, and local community organizer as well as a member of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Wyoming. Her poetry has been published by Pelorus Press, Ghost House Review, nin poetry Journal, Souvenir Lit Journal, and Us for President; her plays have been produced by Sanguine Theatre Company in NYC.