Today was a Bad Day Like TB

Saw white people clap during a scared dance

Saw young blond hippie boy with a red stone pipe

My eyes burned him up

he smiled, “This is a Sioux pipe,” he said from his sportscar

“Yes,” I hissed, “I’m wondering how you got it

& the name is Lakota not Sioux”

“I’ll tell you,” he said, all friendly & liberal as only

those who aren’t angry can be

I turned away

Can’t charm me

thinking of the medicine bundle opened in a glass case

with a small white card beside it

naming the rich whites who

“own” it

Maybe they have an old Indian grandma back in time

to excuse themselves

Today was a day when I wanted to beat up the man

in a backpack with a Haida design from Moe’s bookstore

Listen Moe’s, how many Indians do you have working there?

How much money are you sending the Haida people to use their

raven design?

You probably have an Indian grandma too

whose name you don’t know

Today was a day like TB

you cough & cough trying to get it out

all that comes up is blood & spit

by Chrystos (Menominee)

2 thoughts on “Today was a Bad Day Like TB”

    1. I organized these originally to have the authors names be part of the navigation system up top, but thank you for this note. I’ll edit this page immediately.


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