Pictures: (1858) the fair Alope scalped,
Eyes spooned out by bounty-seeking
Mexican irregulars; you had no purpose
Left then, remains of a first wife and three
Daughters burning like fireweed on charred ground
Words formed: Revenge All The Time.
15 years of raids looming through dust ambushed
Ranchers shot in startled faces, horses and cattle
Stolen, retreats into the sheltering Mexican
War Mother pursued peak by peak by the slow
Blues on heavy horses,
Representatives of Manifest Destiny.
Pictures: (1884) surrendering and the march
To foul San Carlos, even the agents called it
"Hell's 40 Acres," 110 degrees in summer shade,
Beset by a million nameless bugs, fed by the thieves
Of the "Tucson Ring" who brought wobbling
Cattle bony as thorns.
Sinking into miasma of torpid
Afternoons broken only by wife-
Beating gambling and corn-
Mash tiswin drunks, spied on by turncoat scouts:
Proud Mickey Free and Dutchy, who proved his
Mettle by hunting down and beheading his own father
For the murder of a white man.
Pictures: (1885) escape again, the mountains below
Imaginary borders looming like freedom, making false
Camps, going seventy miles a day, setting fires to
Make the following enemy ride through fire.
What life but a trail of blood, in and out of
The Chiricahua Mountains, tracks covered
By blinding snow, in 90 days you rolled
1200 miles, killed 38 people, stole 250
Horses and mules, left behind a relic
Of the Charred ground inside you became a name for
Death and hard riding, alternative
to Ghost Dancing.
The wheels run even in sleep.
Pictures: (1886) 440 men women children of
A mountain race loaded into boxcars sent
Along with the Apache scouts who tracked you
From Fort Apache to Fort Pickens, Florida damp
Lowland ground and hard labor sawing logs
Many died there or at Mount Vernon Barracks,
Alabama, then relative mercy of Fort Sill
Oklahoma and the white man's road, inept
Raiser of hogs but good with turkeys and chickens.
Preacher at a Dutch Reformed Church Sunday school,
Master of a fair-sized patch of watermelons.
Pictures: (1904) this the Age of Marketing.
The photographers come, posing you with dusty
Watermelons, crouching with trademark scowl
And empty Sharp's rifle.
By permission of War Department
You become a showman, wild west clown decked in warrior
Drag at St. Louis World's Fair.
The 'attraction' Geronimo
The poster man Geronimo
Maker if souvenir arrows bows Geronimo
Hired for one year stint by wild west show
White man's money
White man's whiskey
White man's writing 'GERONIMO' in block letters
White man's clothes in boy's sized
"Even now there is a fire in the old man's eyes."
Wrote Washington DC interviewer
When he recalls the raids of his youth
The riding into light on stolen horses.
Pictures: (1909) they say he slipped off his horse
Coming from town drunk and talking to himself
Raving about forgiveness, Arizona
That he lay face up in the rain
Calling a name:"Alope"
That more than age or pneumonia killed the warrior:
February 17, 1909
The wheels run, even in sleep.