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.
- 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).