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white river poems 311
Utes will take up much less land,
though that's not Meeker's motive ...
They resist, naturally,
naturally he presses them;
they resist, he presses more;
fear, threats, rage, and then one day
a Ute roughs Meeker up: now
exhausted and furious
he sends for troops. Utes meet them
and defeat them; a few Utes
return to the Agency,
shoot Meeker and the eight whites
in his employ, carry off
Meeker's wife and grown daughter
and one other white woman
with her two small children. They
rape the women, they burn
the Agency buildings, smash
and strew whatever won't burn
among the bodies; Meeker
they drag, stripped, behind a horse,
crush his skull, ram in his mouth
a piece of broken stave
from a fl our barrel. Meanwhile
more troops are called in, the Utes
retreat into the mountains.
An emissary fi nds them,
there are parleys, the women
are released, there are hearings,
outrage, confusion, speeches
in Congress, editorials ...
with the result that, within
a year, the Utes are driven
into Utah and the whites
move onto their land. Such is
the story as you'll fi nd it