Reservation

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)
More Poems by Diane Glancy