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Speak the great names: Fort Qu'Appelle,St Isidore de Bellevue, Grand Coteau,Batoche, Fort Walsh, Frog Lake and Cut Knife Hill,Seven Oaks and the rest of Rupert's Land,and say what lies there between: bonesthe wind gives back, bones of buffalo, bonesof the hunters, bones of Blackfoot, Cree and Blood,the prairie piled white with hunts, allbone brothers under sun. Nameme, Gabriel, king of this bare kingdom

of bones, riding and riding through white remains.Name me, Gabriel, hero of the WildWest of Buffalo Bill, hero of the greatStaten Island shoot out, me and LePetit, killers of little blue balls,riding and riding through pictures of sage brush and sky,fighting with clocks beneath the electric sun,never as we used to fight, waiting,talking, never arriving though miles and milesof coulee and plain. And now where the prairie was

Sitting Bull and I and faces in the darksquare off, Chief of the great Hunkpapa Lakota,dazed in the painted flats, and I, calling,calling: God, will they find us, lost in faces,before we stop forever, smiling in a glasscage, where rivers stop, and birds hangon the sky never moving? My smile is glass.Everything lies inside me: buffalo runto ground, streets I never saw where the elmsline faces singing white, singing

"The Stars and Stripes Forever," waiting for warsand other shows at the town's end. They seeme, Gabriel, and see a war that hardlywas, a circus war so put off we almostmissed the last call. Dummies I gavethem to save my friends, men stuffed like the greatchief and I who drift slowly through placesand then through names where hundreds walk to gazeand conjure us. Speak the names -- me, Gabriel,a clock ticking to an abandoned house.

© Blodgett E. D.