Pay Up Or Else


Luci Tapahonso

Vincent Watchman was shot
in the head February 12
because he owed 97c at
              a Thriftway gas station.
While he lay dead,
the anglo gas boy said
              I only meant to shoot out
              his car tires and scare him.
He fired 2 poor shots -- one in the head,
              one in the rear window and
the police cited him for
shooting a firearm within city limits.
Meanwhile, Thriftway officials in Farmington
expressed shock
              It's not company policy, after all,
              to shoot Navajo customers who run
              overflows in the self-serve pumps.
              This man will definitely be fired.
              There is no way that such an action
              can be justified, the official said
while we realized our lives weren't worth a dollar
              and a 24-year-old Ganado man never used
              the $3 worth of gas he paid for.

From Seasonal Woman by Luci Tapahonso, Tooth of Time Books.
© 1982 Luci Tapahonso Buy Now

Books by Luci Tapahonso

A Breeze Swept Through, Univ. New Mexico Press.
Sáanii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing, Univ. Arizona Press.
Blue Horses Rush In, Univ. Arizona Press. (Hardcover)
          Children's Books
Navajo ABC: A Diné Alphabet Book, Eleanor Schick (Illustrator), Aladdin. (Hardcover)
Songs of Shiprock Fair, Anthony Chee Emerson (Illustrator), Kiva Pub.

Return to Day 5

Return to Day 6