Behind double barbed wire fences
the bulk of the tribal bison herd
grazes on silence. The rest
gaze west toward the Rockies.
That late-afternoon at Snow Slip
he leaned, left arm behind, back
against the far end of a short bar;
and in Siksika, glass raised,
greeted me friend.
I race horses, thoroughbreds, he said,
I have a master’s degree,
he said. I teach phys-ed in Browning,
he said. I’ve been assimilated, he said,
I’m Catholic. Star School,
but I’m not, he said. I’m Pikuni.
Did you ever take a sweat?
It’s good to take a sweat. My boy
is eight. He cries and I hug him.
The medicine man said