Eric Hyett

Eric Hyett

“Case Closed” is the opening poem to my collection, Flight Risk. I wrote that poem only a couple of months after being released from Rikers Island, where I was held for 45 days on charges of custodial interference—the dramatic end to my historic same-sex marriage. At the time I wrote that poem, I was awaiting trial in three jurisdictions, and continuing to fight for my son in New York Family Court as my case played out in the newspapers. When I wrote “Case Closed,” I was on federal pre-trial (the case eventually ended in probation), was living with my mom at her home in Boston, and attending her poetry workshop, PoemWorks, four times a week. The nature in the poem is city nature, the urban backyard of my childhood. Living with my mom again after all I’d seen at Rikers, I suddenly appreciated so much more that everything in the city is nature, in a way. Also, everything I wrote during that time was informed by Law & Order S.V.U., which my mother and I watched together—it became our favorite show. As I began to rebuild my life, I started to see the humor in everything, and “Case Closed” is definitely a very funny poem. This poem, like many I wrote at that time, is written in couplets; I wanted to capture the visual shape of prison bars.