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Pima Road Notebook #2 by Keith Ekiss

27/09/2010

Field Trip

By Keith Ekiss

Outside the tribal museum, the raised flag

of a nation buried within a nation.

Our hand-me-down history book said,

They were like children, naked and afraid.

The timeline revealed when horses arrived,

a wooden cross stood for God

and soldiers. Stone clubs, worn, obsolete,

shaved from mesquite root, resembling

the potato mashers of New England kitchens.

Mulberry bows and arrow quivers tanned

from bobcat skin. Two feathers: hunting,

three feathers: war. The teacher clutched

my fingers in hers, pointed to the signs

I clearly hadn’t thought enough to read:

Hands are not allowed to touch the glass.

Photographs of women crafting baskets,

deeply-wrinkled, patient, smiling faces.

Human figures woven into each, a boy

trapped deep within the spiral of a maze,

lost or at home, I couldn’t say.

*

New Issues has recently published Keith Ekiss’ book of poems Pima Road Notebook.

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