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Looking Back on the Muckleshoot Reservation from Galisteo Street, Santa Fe

Mar. 31, 2013
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The bow of a Muckleshoot canoe, blessed

with eagle feather and sprig of yellow cedar,

is launched into a bay. A girl watches

her mother fry venison slabs in a skillet—        

drops of blood sizzle, evaporate. Because

a neighbor feeds them, they eat wordlessly;

the silence breaks when she occasionally

gags, reaches into her throat, pulls out hair.

Gone is the father, riled, arguing with his boss,

who drove to the shooting range after work;

gone the accountant who embezzled funds,

displayed a pickup, and proclaimed a winning

flush at the casino. You donate chicken soup

and clothes but never learn if they arrive

at the south end of the city. Your small

acts are sandpiper tracks in wet sand.

Newspapers, plastic containers, beer bottles

fill the bins along this sloping one-way street.





Arthur Sze is the author of eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo

Light, Quipu, and The Redshifting Web. His poems have been translated into a

dozen languages, including Chinese, Dutch, and Spanish. A professor emeritus

at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He will be reading his poetry on April 4, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. At The Hefter

Center (3271 N. Lake Drive).


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