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white river poems 415
Mounted heads of bear, deer,
elk, moose, occupy every
available space on the walls
above me, antlers decorate
the pillars and lintels,
against one pillar is an arm-chair
made entirely of antlers,
looking like some
instrument of torture. Below
the heads are mounted
photographs of still more game,
copies of early newspapers,
photographs of early-day
Meeker scenes -- streams,
plateaus, mountains,
valleys -- the whole
White River country
crowded into this one
stale room. Near the entrance
photographs of the Meekers,
of Ouray and Chipeta,
Colorow, Johnson, Jack;
on the wall opposite, hung
above the dead TV
a painting of the massacre
by a local hand. Meeker
lies front and center, outstretched
in the dirt. His naked
torso looks painfully white.
Later the talk starts up
led by the desk-lady --
chiefl y of fl ying saucers
(she is a fi rm believer).
Talk lapses when a derelict
woman they know comes in
and tries, as they watch in silence,