from the photograph by Skeet McAuley
the football field rises
to meet the mesa. Indian boys
gallop across the grass, against
the beginnings of their body.
On those Saturday afternoons,
unbroken horses gather to watch
their sons growing larger
in the small parts of the world.
Everyone is the quarterback.
There is no thin man in a big hat
writing down all the names
in two columns: winners and losers.
This is the eternal football game,
Indians versus Indians. All the Skins
in the wooden bleachers fancydancing,
stomping red dust straight down
into nothing. Before the game is over,
the eighth-grade girls' track team
comes running, circling the field,
their thin and brown legs echoing
wild horses, wild horses, wild horses.
From The Business of Fancydancing by Sherman Alexie, Hanging Loose Press
© 1992 Sherman Alexie