The Reservation Dump


We drank from plastic bottles,
tossed them into plastic bags,
carried them to garbage cans,
picked up by tribal workers
and taken to the reservation dump
where gleaming BIA front-end loaders
shuddered as they buried it,
then smoothed the rich black dirt
over the wounds to cover generations
of stink and putrid rot.
Later, tribal elected officials and HUD
build hundred-thousand-dollar
homes on top, name it Prairie View
and move in the Indians.
Cancer rates go sky high, and IHS doctors
conduct research studies as
babies die while thick black mold
creeps up bedroom walls.
Housing officials peering under foundation
spaces find nothing amiss, only a rusted
car body crawling out of the earth,
empty sockets like a vulture’s skull.