Reservation

By Diane Glancy b. 1941 Diane Glancy
This prairie holds us
with its plainness.
An ugly wife.
We would not stay but children comfort us
and we need this flatness.

On our table
a carp with a tumor
on its lip,
larva eating its side.

An old man laughs,
one silver tooth
in his head
like a galvanized
watertank.

We are driven back
into the land,
our raccoon faces
banded around the eyes
with motorcycle goggles.
Every car we had
rusting in the yard.

We saddle the buffalo
and say we are captives.
This barrenness holds
us down like a wife.

“Reservation” from Offering: aliscolidoi by Diane Glancy. Reprinted by permission of Holy Cow! Press (Duluth, Minnesota). © 1986 by Diane Glancy. All rights reserved.

Source: Offering: Poetry & Prose (Holy Cow! Press, 1988)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Diane Glancy b. 1941

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Home Life, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Diane  Glancy

Biography

Proficient in numerous genres—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting—Diane Glancy often creates work that reflects her Native American heritage. Part Cherokee, and of English and German descent, Glancy was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She has served as artist-in-residence for the Oklahoma State Arts Council (traveling around the state to teach poetry to Native American students) and has taught Native American literature . . .

Continue reading this biography

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.