Poetry

Warpath

JORDAN ABEL

From Injun. Published by Jackpine Press in 2014. Jordan Abel is a Nisga'a writer living in Vancouver. His debut book, Place of Scraps (Talonbooks), won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.  

a)

he played injun in gods country

where boys proved themselves clean

dumb beasts who could cut fire

out of the whitest sand

he played english across the trail

where girls turned plum wild

garlic and strained words

through the window of night

he spoke through numb lips and

breathed frontier

b)

he heard snatches of comment

going up from the river bank

all them injuns is people first

and besides for this buckskin

why we even shoot at them

and seems like a sign of warm

dead as a horse friendship

and time to pedal their eyes

to lean out and say the truth

all you injuns is just white keys

k)

just the              warpath

just the              all time disgust

                ringing rescue

                acts for the boys and

                injuns for the nights

all misdeeds at the milk           house

all heap                   shoots by the sagebrush

                all the grub         is somewhere

                down in the hungry bellies

of drunks             all the dog cries

                are announced

                at            the backdoor

o)

injun s               mu        st           hang

              straigh         t

              bl    ack arrows

              o ff their

              sh          oulders

              an d  be    tha     ankf  ul

              and  b e              faithf   ul

              a nd       be     tr   ustful

of si  lver and

                  lu   ck

Unknown Object

 

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