Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Floyd Salas


I’ve got a cousin John
who’s an electrical engineer
and well off
I’m a poet
and don’t have much money

His job is to put
Polaris missiles
with hydrogen warheads
on atomic submarines
and he gets high pay for it
I don’t have a job

He did well in school
while I barely got out
Though I liked to read
and when I was seven
was all hung up
on all types of books
about American Indians
& the only authority
in my family on them
& when I was 8
his father & my father
who were brothers
took us out in the forest
to cut down a Xmas tree
I was enthralled by the forest
& felt free & brave there
& after my father
let me help saw my tree down
I stood up & said,
“I wish I’d been an Indian.”
But my cousin John said,
“Not me
They’re too poor.”

Floyd Salas is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning author of five novels, a memoir and two volumes of poetry. His novel, Tattoo the Wicked Cross, earned a place on the San Francisco Chronicle's Western 100 List of Best 20th-Century Fiction. Tattoo and Buffalo Nickel are featured in Masterpieces of Hispanic Literature. www.floydsalas.com



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