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Guthrie Theater

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american indian
outside the guthrie
forever wounded
by tributes
high western
movie mockery
invented names
trade beads
federal contracts
limps past
the new theater

wounded indian
comes to attention
on a plastic leg
and delivers
a smart salute
with the wrong hand

precious children
muster nearby
theatrical poses
under purple
and barricades
on stage
with reservation plans

native overscreams
on stage
at sand creek
blaze of bodies
at mystic river
frozen ghost dancers
chased to death
by the seventh cavalry
at wounded knee

culture wars
wound the heart
and dishonor
the uniform
forsaken warriors
retire overnight
in cardboard suites
under the interstates

american indian
decorated for bravery
invented names
salutes the actors
with the wrong hand
at the guthrie

treaties break
behind the scenes
night after night
the actors
new posers
mount and ride
on perfect ponies
out to the wild
cultural westerns
hilly suburbs
with buffalo bill

Gerald Vizenor, “Gutherie Theater” from Almost Ashore. Copyright © 2006 by Gerald Vizenor. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.
Source: Almost Ashore (Salt Publishing, 2006)
Guthrie Theater

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