The Internet Poetry Archive

The Drunken Indian

Roger Dennie


Sobriety.
It's a far cry
from being passed out
in the midday sun
on the side of Station Road
in faraway, lonely Wawa
with kids throwing stones at me.

I joke about it now
lying down meditating,
As I call it.

A white man I met once
at an AA meeting in the west side of town
told me it must be difficult for you
staying sober he said
when you're on welfare.

He thought he was being kind.

I didn't tell him that I had
been working at the steel plant
for the last ten years.

I didn't prick a hole
in the old drunken Indian cliche
and let the air out of his prejudice

But i should have.

The white man.
what makes him think
he is so superior?
he is the one
who gave us the booze
in the first place.

Besides,
what was this white man
doing at an AA meeting
anyway?

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