by David Shumate

He is a hard one to write a poem about. Like Napolean.

Hannibal. Genghis Khan. Already so large in history. To do it

right, I have to sit down with him. At a place of his own

choosing. Probably a steakhouse. We take a table in a corner.

But people still recognize him, come up and slap him on the

back, say how much they enjoyed studying about him in school

and ask for his autograph. After he eats, he leans back and

lights up a cigar and asks me what I want to know. Notebook in

hand, I suggest that we start with the Little Big Horn and work

our way back. But I realize I have offended him. That he

would rather take it the other way around. So he rants on

about the Civil War, the way west, the loyalty of good soldiers

and now and then twists his long yellow hair with his fingers.

But when he gets to the part about Sitting Bull, about Crazy

Horse, he develops a twitch above his right eye, raises his

finger for the waiter, excuses himself and goes to the restroom

while I sit there along the bluffs with the entire Sioux nation,

awaiting his return.


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