An American Tradition


Pocatello guards the gateway

to verdant plains

tight between mountains’ shadows where

frothing waters

snake through purple camas blanket.


Did this chief stand proud upon the bluff

scrying futures?

Headdress connecting cloud to earth

in premonition

of loathsome deeds and subjugation


Shoshone herded, stripped of home,

a valley laid open and crossed with iron tracks,

vulnerable to those who devour

language and culture

stealing regalia.  A headdress


for the Chamber of Commerce to

don and parade

each Fourth of July, down Main Street

throwing candy

to the children lining the street


waving their fathers’ lessons.