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white river poems 307
`We put the Agency where -- '
and is leaning and pointing, when
Arvilla says, `There, My God.'
Near the corpse-apparition,
which she has yet to bother
looking at, she and I see
Meeker and a wide-faced, tall,
heavy-bodied Indian
face to face in the offi
of the Agency. The Ute,
rigid with fury, raises
his hands deliberately,
and, speaking some abrupt phrase
repeatedly, shoves Meeker --
shoves him away from the desk,
keeps shoving, Meeker fl ailing,
to keep his balance, the shock
tensing his jaw, as his eyes,
looking hard into the Ute's,
become uncertain -- back, back,
lurching out the door, the Ute
giving him one last hard shove
against a low hitching rail;
and Meeker goes over it
backward, and lies in the dust
and horse-droppings, while the Ute
walks off and two white men
run to Meeker, help him up,
gingerly -- for he's a man
now in the isolation
of the humiliated.
The scene fades, I look around,
the shade of Meeker is gone,
Arvilla is gone, the corpse
burns with an intenser blue
a moment, as I get out.