Tuesday, July 19, 2011

White Swan

Rita with dishwater blonde hair,
one quarter Yakama,
tended bar in Brownstown
on the edge of the reservation,
White Swan.
She talked about how a dog looked
like a wolf when it slept.
She was happy being around men,
why she stayed single,
she said. She had never married
but was a lover, men attested.
Ray McDonald was a quarterback,
a tall high school boy
with one wooden leg, but kept
his feet and got off a pass
before they reached him.
Rita knew Ray was too young
though he never drank or smoked,
but just the same she let him
through the door at closing time.
He waited while she locked up
and went with her to sleep the night.
She liked to draw wolves on the wood,
and circles she filled with false faces.
Ray worked summers shocking hay,
bucking bales, milking cows,
butchering hogs. In the fall,
if she had the night off Rita went
to watch Ray fade back to pass,
as smoothly as any graceful biped.

(19 July 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander


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