Chilhowee Mountain
  • Chilhowee Mountain
  • Wikimedia Commons

Bison Burgers and Fry Bread

  • Among my people, here again I am,
  • Preparing to be welcomed to the feast.
  • The “immigrant,” you’re undisturbed, at least,
  • Leaned back, as though you do not give a damn –
  • Before us, bison, sweet potato-yam,
  • And fry bread, not the bloated loaf of yeast
  • Which you would b e provided further east,
  • From family, with sauerkraut and ham.
  • Could I adore you any more? Black glasses
  • To screen your round, perceptive, Dresden eye,
  • At last, you try my fry bread, (no molasses),
  • Approving it with love – my German spy.
  • Our friendly, female Wolf Clan server passes.
  • You tip her, reverent as at Versailles.

From Chilhowee Mountain

  • When I look out from proud Chilhowee Mountain,
  • Upon a boulder balanced on the ground,
  • Subdued, I hear two crows call, with the sound
  • The rushing river utters like a fountain
  • Of voices lost and waiting, once more found.
  • I raise one hand to shade my eyes, no doubting
  • My deepest intuition, all around
  • Me nothing but the russet leaves and browned,
  • Snug fringe of my attire as I stand scouting
  • The landscape from nine hundred feet in air.
  • The boulder is a soul beneath me, shouting,
  • Reminding me of my ancestral birth
  • Around this mound they call Spearfinger’s lair.
  • No bond exists to rival ours, on Earth.

Reservation

  • My reservation is a reservation
  • Where Red Paint gazes at his mobile phone –
  • A transcendental Indian, alone
  • Adorned in the full feather of our Nation;
  • While Wildcat emulates his isolation,
  • Around his throat, a choker made of bone—
  • Suspicious, steady, ready to disown
  • His flesh and blood, with no clear explanation.
  • Along Main Avenue, they greet the tourists
  • Who hold a honeymooning hand, and laugh,
  • Who claim, “We share your shame. We share your grief.”
  • But Wildcat and Red Paint – grim as jurists –
  • Arise, to pose for one more photograph,
  • And only their sad eyes show disbelief.

Jennifer Reeser is a poet, critic, and a translator of French and Russian literature. Her most recent book is a novel-in-verse, The Lalaurie Horror (Saint James Infirmary, 2013).

Comments

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close