Back to Issue Five.

Report (1)

BY DIANE GLANCY

 

It moved inside us, 
the old story before the story, 
a fleeing too hard to forget. 

In the primitive landscape 
bushes became wolves 
and the wolves wrote the government reports. 
They stung our hunting grounds with their words, 
leaving a trail we followed. 

Once our stories were round 
but the wolves made them square as their houses. 

Turn down the corners of their books 
until they are round as pie plates 
on the counter in the crowded cafe. 

They divided our way of knowing. 
Our stories now a bookstore 
at the site of the old fort. 

The wolves kept up their reports— 
betrayal— 
betrayal— 
on the shelving and window sash. 
Their reportage only made what happened 
happen again on paper, 
a map work still legible as rock drawings. 

I tell you they occupied the land 
leaving us to this day 
their bookshelves and cabinetry.

 

 

Diane Glancy is professor at Azusa Pacific University. Her latest collection of poems, It Was Then, was published by Mammoth Press in 2012. Her latest collection of nonfiction, The Dream of a Broken Field, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2011. “Report (1)” is from a new collection of poems, Report to the Department of the Interior, about the Native American experience in education.