Just to think, I may be the first.
I walk through the small iron door,
small like an Anasazi opening.
There on the stool
a bearded English man pours sour ale.
The stained glass windows speak a story:
a running rabbit, a human caterpillar,
a disappearing cat, and a queen of hearts.
My emotions ebb like those of Alice's, out of place.
Outside the window—
a green hill supporting Windsor castle.
It stands like an adobe village atop a mesa.
The ground is black soil,
No signs of the red reservation dirt.
A small black bird perches on the wooden sill.
Is it a corn-stealing reservation chicken?
No. It's a Scottish raven, and Indian crow mirage.
No frybread with mutton stew.
I order Yorkshire pudding,
A meat pie.
Around the pub
spreads the spired city of learning: Oxford.
Like tipis of the annual Crow Fair,
these colleges choke the town:
Pembroke, Old Crow; St. Peters, Black Eagle; Christ Church,
Red Wolf: Magdalen, Old Coyote . . . .
Here in the pub
Queen Elizabeth rules by her crown.
Across the great diving lakes,
Within the sacred mountains,
Grandmother Little Owl weaves her loom.
In this room,
I am the red Columbus.
There are no Indian brothers.
I hear the echo of an eagle,
The sun dance drums,
But the wailing spirits of Stonehenge
silence their chants.
I truly am the first Navajo in the Wooden Duck.
Hershman John, I Swallow Turquoise for Courage (2007)