Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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

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 bins along the sloping one-way street.

Credit


From The Gingko Light by Arthur Sze. Copyright © 2009 by Arthur Sze. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Author


Arthur Sze

Arthur Sze is the author of eleven books of poetry, including The Glass Constellation (Copper Canyon Press, 2021). He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017.

Date Published: 2009-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/looking-back-muckleshoot-reservation-galisteo-street-santa-fe