Monday in Missoula. We finally find them
in U.C. Bookstore, along with others waiting in arm.
I look for different ways to be as I hunt truth
over other shoulders, knowing I'm not right,
my life, an excuse of bow and scrape.
My best bet is to go back where bitterroot used
to sing food for Salish, yet Anapolis and I are
such an easy connection, parking by fir
and animal so I can walk through Hugo's old
home again: the kitchen sink between two Datsun
pick-ups, the worried lawn still not growing, even
though he had it cut one summer. Afraid to defrost
the refrigerator. Call it a dramatic moment, call it
coincidence, call it luck, it does seem right.
May in Missoula with threat of rain all day seems
right. This scene, no borrowed buffalo,
as the river runs full for us
like ancient root.
* * * * * *
Victor Charlo is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He is a direct descendant of the chiefs who signed the Hellgate Treaty. Charlo writes poems about reservation life and people, his family, and his journeys to visit the polar bears. He earned degrees from the University of Montana and Gonzaga University. "Uneasy with Montana" was published in his 2008 collection, Put Seý (Good Enough).