Summer of '84 . . . Annual Event
- Humid afternoon by the St. Lawrence
women canoe-racers paddle the river;
full of fry-bread, soda and hot
I stumble under the cedar arbor
to listen to the drum and singing.
Outfitted Mohawks circle a "stomp dance."
I take a place on a bench near
an elder woman who asks in Mohawk,
what do I do? Tote bag slung over my
left shoulder I figure I should own up.
"I'm a writer," . . . in smiles.
"What kind?" she asked, really curious.
"A poet," I replied proudly . . .
to which she offered a grunt,
got up from the bench and huffed off.
Well, maybe she was right.
© 1988 Maurice Kenny
From Humors and/or Not So Humorous and reprinted in On Second Thought, University of Oklahoma Press.
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