Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Felicia Mitchell

Felicia Mitchell
Hawk Crossing Main Street, Abingdon

In the light of day,
a red-shouldered hawk
flying low across Main Street
with a black snake
dangling from its mouth
could stop traffic,
even if it is not an omen.
And so it did.
We all slowed down,
one car after the other,
wanting to stop right there
in the middle of the road
to abandon our cars
to follow the hawk
the way children followed
the pied piper.
But we could not, not really,
not with grocery stores
and library and gas stations
beckoning us like a bribe.
I was no different,
even if it takes a bribe
to remind me that I am human.
I put my foot on the gas pedal
and went forward.
Felicia Mitchell, a native of South Carolina who has made her home in the mountains of Virginia since 1987, teaches English and creative writing at Emory & Henry College. Her poems have appeared in variety of journals and anthologies. Waltzing with Horses, her first full-length collection of poems, was recently published by Press 53. In 2009, Finishing Line Press published a chapbook, The Cleft of the Rock. She has also published scholarly articles on poetry and women’s literature and edited Her Words. Diverse Voices in Contemporary Appalachian Women’s Poetry for the University of Tennessee Press. Website:


©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin