Sunday, May 15, 2011

Elko, Nevada (1910)

GS Garcia Saddle Shop
Elko, Nevada, 1900


Elko, Nevada  (1910)

Teddy Roosevelt poses beside a girl named Shadow.
She has been led to the caboose to present a silver belly Stetson.
In line behind her stand glimmering children with gifts:
a polished brass miner's lamp, a baseball signed
by the mayor and his pals.  Shadow agrees that milk is good.

Elko's ladies are scrubbed and the drunks are in irons,
hidden-away in dust-blown alleys.  The crowd
outside the train depot  has a thick, padded splendor.
Roosevelt thinks he might take a stab at a full speech.
Shadow steps back, smiles at the thought
of fresh buttered  bread later.

Roosevelt, red-faced and swollen with pride,
bellows, Some men deliver parcels, some men
are tall poplars beneath stars of destiny,
some men are carpenters. Roosevelt's attention
is cremated by three Shoshone men
rattling wooden boxes of skull shards,
chanting, Short-changed, short-changed,
no more murder, no more gettin' short-changed.

No comments:

Post a Comment