From “Bestiary”

By Sherman Alexie b. 1966 Sherman Alexie
My mother sends me a black-and-white
photograph of   her and my father, circa
1968, posing with two Indian men.

“Who are those Indian guys?” I ask her
on the phone.

“I don’t know,” she says.

The next obvious question: “Then why
did you send me this photo?” But I don’t
ask it.

One of those strange Indian men is
pointing up toward the sky.

Above them, a bird shaped like a
question mark.

NOTES: This poem originally appeared in "Poetry Not Written for Children that Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy," by Lemony Snicket.

“Bestiary” is reprinted by permission of Ugly Duckling Presse.

Source: Poetry (September 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2013
 Sherman  Alexie

Biography

Sherman Alexie is a preeminent Native American poet, novelist, performer and filmmaker. He has garnered high praise for his poems and short stories of contemporary Native American reservation life, among them The Business of Fancydancing (1992), The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven (1993), which won a PEN/Hemingway Award, and Smoke Signals (1998), a critically acclaimed movie based on one of Alexie’s short stories and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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