Feb 17 2008

A Drunkard-ly Indian

Published by Brian at 8:37 am under contributors, poetry, human_rights

poem by Kurt Olson

a drunkard-ly Indian
[native American]
{american Indian}
stumbled down the opposite lane
snow bound; plowed

Call it social injustice
Call it personal choices
but I think he was coping
with the humanity
or lack there of
in this town

prescribed to him
by a people of
pale skin and pale character

he looked right through my
middle-class-white “soul”
and I saw why
my ancestors embarrassed me

One Response to “A Drunkard-ly Indian”

  1. Robinon 07 Apr 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Compelling images of a subject worth creative focus. I’ve thought about this one a few times since first reading it. I can’t help feeling there’s more poem to write here. Of course Olson knows he has a soul that doesn’t require quotation marks, or he wouldn’t write and share a poem. It feels as if he’s stating his distance from his own skin, economic circumstances, ancestry to avoid real shame or embarrassment and to keep his own sense of identity intact. So he doesn’t feel compelled to drown it in alcohol on a lonely winter night. A poem confronting that could be beautiful. I hope he keeps writing.

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