By Santee Frazier b. 1978 Santee Frazier
Her head bangs against the window
and dash when I stop and turn,
my legs too short to work
the brakes.
                 Mama’s crooked
brow, her makeup smearing away,
slurs something about good
ol’ boy music, a pint of Kentucky
Deluxe in her hand. Two hours,
she said, and three days later,
Tuesday, she is finally wanting
to stop. I am getting better
at the turns, guiding her
Cutlass through these hills,
ten miles an hour, gravel roads,
the Cutlass
                  rattling out the last
fumes of gas. Engine stops,
the night dimly lit by the moon
hung over the treetops;
owls calling each other from
hilltop to valley bend.
                               The radio
fades in and out of static,
tractors revving, cows lowing,
and we may never make it back,
home still five hills away, daylight
coming over rocky edges of the hills.

Santee Frazier, “Bluetop” from Dark Thirty. Copyright © 2009 by Santee Frazier. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.

Source: Dark Thirty (University of Arizona Press, 2009)

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Poet Santee Frazier b. 1978

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries

 Santee  Frazier


A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Santee Frazier earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Syracuse University. His collection of poems, Dark Thirty (2009), was published in the Sun Tracks series of the University of Arizona Press.
In Dark Thirty, Frazier portrays Native Americans living on the fringes of contemporary America. Offering nonromanticized and realistic portraits of great . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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