Off Reservation

Along Hwy 97

North toward Omak

The rusting hulks of cars

Sit shameless among the weeds

Each a trophy of some skirmish

By day home of sleepy rattlesnakes

By midnight shelter of feral cats hiding

Out from wily coyotes thin as rats

Scouring the bone-dry riverbeds

Over there an old Packard

And here a Cadillac

Off reservation

Along Hwy 97 


Faded feathers

In the war bonnet

Of the old warrior brave

Asleep on the crumbling deck

Of the foundationless old shack

Beside his mangy dog & empty pint

Lost in dreams of brown bear & salmon

Of huckleberries & the fat pine nuts

Gone the way of water down river

On behalf of the new orchards

Pink Lady Royal Ann

Off reservation

Along Hwy 97


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to Off Reservation

  1. love the feel and look it conveys – pray tell, what is the Pink Lady Royal Ann reference ? – I’m guessing apples


    • Pink Lady is an apple . . . Royal Ann is a cherry . . . The tribe has sold the prime land along the Columbia River to the orchardists who have done to that part of the reservation what the Israelis have done to the Palestinian’s lands – turned them into gardens using the labor of the migrant workers . . .


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