The Archives

Welcome to The Archives. Here reside poems that I have been lucky and blessed enough to have published elsewhere as noted. As poems are accepted, I will note those forthcoming publications. Please support the literary arts by subscribing to old-fashioned print magazines and following poetry on line.

The White Horse

If the white horse had arrived one moment sooner, one moment later, it would have arisen just the same—left flank, head, shoulders and mane, single eyed, unblemished or blemished—and just the same, if it had been another horse altogether, say, appaloosa gray, galloping to beat the thunderheads transforming the stubborn day, here on the Wind River Indian Reservation, here at this very corner, here on this very bridge, here in Wyoming, here, where what we say and think on any particular 65-mile-per-hour highway—that, of course, we drive faster than the posted limit—the painted lines retracting one no-account place from the next, and it would not have mattered, whether the white horse’s quick-twitch body had swept out of the willow bottom, whether its white hide had not been flayed to the car’s grill or across the asphalt’s hard canvas, whether the Shoshones chasing the white horse had been drinking or not, this slow suddenness stopping us would not have mattered—akin as it is to counting coup, loss and death—and still.


What it is that cannot be said about the one-way mirror that lies between you and the reservation when you report the accident: that you looked into the glass with just the right angle and saw moments being passed like notes between classmates who once threw darts at your adolescent and pimpled face, at what was unfashionable about your dress, hem safety-pinned or scotch-taped, making you wish you were someone somewhere else, instead you were white-skinned and extraneous here as well—the language being spoken though the words sounded the same, that when later you asked for it, the report, as nonexistent as the BIA cop who'd investigated the scene and carefully filled a yellow ruled legal pad with names and addresses of victims, now nowhere to be found, the cop transferred out of state, that when asked to, you believed the Indians never drunk, the horses harnessed to a 4 am dream, their now-clumsy carcasses never dragged through the tactless grass, and the whole incident confused with an emergency videoed for TV.

                                                                                                          Northern Lights, 1989