'Lancelot and Guinevere' by Herbert Draper

Braiding Three Reports to Make One Fact

by Sharon Chmielarz
That night at Fort Yates 
when Sitting Bull turned himself in, 
a night of clubbing and shooting--
he lining up his sights 
down the barrel of a gun, 
ghost dance gun, ghost trigger, ghost 
barrel, ghost bullets 
killing four dog soldiers 
paid to kill him, mortally 
wounding two others--
a night of sell-out 
when he lay in the dirt, 
bleeding, what 
happened is that 
the one who betrayed him, the one
paid to ride into the fort as Standing Bear 
rode out as scott-free Sam.
Sam retired like a white man 
to a little house in Wakpala.

And I shall have some peace there, 
for peace comes dropping slow... 

Slow, as in sewn moccasins and carved peace pipes. 
Sam hawked them on a blanket in town. 
Dropping, like the grasshoppers that ate Sam's
rows of potatoes and chewed his straw hat. 
"One big fellow even bit me on the shoulder!"  
When Sam laughed, his eyes crinkled. 
His evenings were full of the blackbird's wings.