Battlefield

Back when I used to be Indian
I am standing outside the
pool hall with my sister.
She, strawberry blonde.  Stale sweat
and beer through the
open door.  A warrior leans on his stick,
fingers blue with chalk.
Another bends to shoot.
His braids brush the green
felt, swinging to the beat
of the jukebox.  We move away.
Hank Williams falls again
in the backseat of a Cadillac.
I look back.
A wind off the distant hills lifts my shirt,
brings the scent
of wounded horses.

from Exploding Chippewas (Northwestern U., 2002)