A small Apache
in full feather headdress
wants to know why
he can’t marry Luisa

and I tell him brothers
who marry their sisters
have crazy babies.

Perched on the fence
ruminating, he chews a cud
of gum bound to end in his hair.

Jumping down, he goes into the house,
smuggles out a booty of dolls
to hide by the wall
way back in the garden.

He sings, imagining ransom,
to a drumbeat rhythm:

CHER-ry blossom,
CHER-ry blossom,
CHERRRR-ryyyyy BLOS-som.

Near where I’m weeding,
the Indian roosts on a stone,
reconciled, sharpening his arrows.

If he can’t marry Luisa, he says,
she will marry one of his toys.
After dinner he will decide which one.

Sarah Sloat

If you've any comments on this poem, Sarah Sloat would be pleased to hear from you.