i had one indian aunt
from oklahoma
who used to be
the best squirrel hunter
in shawnee county
with an over/under 410/22.

i have pictures of her
with my little grandpappy
(dad’s dad)
the two standing there
pleased as punch
in overalls
and muddy boots

holding squirrels by their tails

in her spare time my aunt
crocheted doilies
(a very un-indian thing to do)
and sent in quiz questions
to dr IQ
about will rogers

they were second cousins

i had one uncle (not an indian)
who got gunned down on the streets
of seminole            oklahoma
in a duel with the local sheriff

just too slow on the draw

seems he’d wrestled a gun
away from the sheriff of maud
which used to be the gun of my
big grandpappy
(mom’s dad)
before the town retired him
at eighty-five

which is what
made the sheriff of seminole
hopping mad

in his spare time my uncle
danced the ladies
and generally impressed people
with his sullen intelligence

in my spare time
i wonder if I’m a city boy

days I walk the streets of manhattan
through people thick as cornbread

ignoring pleas from the subway
swilling culture by the tankard
bolting the door against my neighbors

nights I twirl pearl-handled revolvers
talk with a drawl
and paint for war