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white river poems 397
There being Whites
by the hundreds of thousands out here
and Utes
by the hundreds, to place the obvious
fi rst, each time
he thinks, is his solitary distinction, and
crushing a Ute,
compromising with a White
in honor of that fi rst thought,
telling lies
to White commissioners, without hesitation
expelling the old chief
his adoptive father, when the old man would not
deal with the Whites --
what are these but tesserae in his mosaic
whom it suited Ute and White to call corrupt.
He had for company
Chipeta and his own accurate thinking.
In group photographs
it's always Ouray that sits, hands on knees, front and center,