Peter Chapman Poetry

On that hill, long ago

See this spot, on my throat? I took an arrow there,
fighting with George, George Arm I called him.

We were lovers, and we went down together, at the Horn,
guns blazing, arrows thick as bees. God what a day it was.

We died just like you've been told we did, foolishly, in slow motion.
The Indians killed us brutally and well. Left not one of us breathing.

The sky was blue and there were no birds. We were alive
and then we were history.

I never saw riding like that. The quills and bones bouncing
on their chests, the sound of the arrows and lances finding
us up on that prairie knoll, out from safety, out of luck.

The dust from the ponies.

You couldn't reload, you couldn't see. The smoke was thick
and the whoops were enough to kill you. We fought back
but we had no time.

We died and they cut us up. They stuck us in our mouths and took my
George's hair, that long yellow hair he loved. I know, I was there.