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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Resurrection of General Custer

It's the middle of a long winter
The townspeople gather around the grave
The government keeps it green on top
below it's frozen granite
as if to say somethings are best left alone
Men begin to dig
Their shovels strike bone
Ol' George is looking bad today
The women call “time”
The potato salad won't wait in this heat
The scribes look amazed
Flash powder warms the meal

Up he comes full of arrows
split from groin to brain
quickly the women tell men
to stand aside
pliers and thread are utilized

Fur coats are needed next winter
the women say
and a new red sports car for shopping
The men dream of fishing poles

Soon George begins to sputter
The women have triumphed
Men begin to mutter
realizing they must tell him
what has happened

beer has been spilled
The Indians are angry

General George calls for the Captain
The men tell George
Captain Yates fell at Little Big Horn
A Custer epiphany
Any captain will do says George

Soon a Captain drives George
and the spirit of businessmen
with deep pockets
that keep getting deeper
towards the reservation
to soothe the savages
It's a rough meeting once again
Captain Hooky Jack rushes George away

Returning to the graveside
George is once again
full of arrows
this time invisible
they have been cemented
into the bones
Little notes tied to each arrow
provide a list of grievances
that again will go unheeded

Motels will be empty
bars will serve fewer beverages
fast food goes unsold
and still refuses to rot in the dumpsters
The women of Hay Camp
no longer dream of fur coats
The men can live with their black SUVs
one more year

George decides the grave is boring
and opens a store
in a fancy building
The sign reads
Arrows 25 cents

The inventory grows daily
in this greedy town
where jail provides a warm bed
houses can be cold
and children are abused

Barry G. Wick

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