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white river poems 383
halted and turned back
by soldiers patrolling Middle Park
from the hot springs you had always visited;
in the scrape that followed
your damaging some ranch equipment,
disarmed by a posse, one of your band shot;
pinched off , blocked,
maneuvered (seated there with Ouray,
your eyes averted, feelings divided, thinning out),
and yet blazing back
(glimpsed in one chronicle as you threaten
with a buggy whip a member of the Treaty Commission of 1880),
and then this: `It was
a favorite Indian campground,'
says the rancher, `and I had not much more
than got settled with my cattle
when Piah and his band paid me a visit.
The squaws would come to the house and ask for sugar.
My trail led through their camp
when I would come back from town after dark;
the dogs would bark, but the Utes paid no heed to my passing.
They usually were chanting
in the teepees, and when I would dismount and go in,
they would quit, and then resume activities when I left.
Sometimes they would chant
till nearly midnight, and we could hear them
distinctly at the ranch house. One time I slipped down,