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Horse People

When Quanah Parker's mother as a young girl
saw her family lanced and hacked to pieces,
and was herself thrown on the hurtling rump
of a warrior's pony whipped to the far off
and utterly unwritten Comancheria,
the little blond began her life, outcast
only when the whites recaptured her and killed
the man she loved, the father of her children.

The language she forgot would call her ruined
and beyond redemption like the young she suckled,
among them the "last Chief of the Comanche,"
a man who died in comforts his mother shunned,
but who, like her, remembered how the manes
of the remuda caught the breezes as they ran,
and how the grass caught fire in the scalp-red sun.

David Mason

Southwest Review

Volume 97, Number 3

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