Mary Oliver

Learning About the Indians

He danced in feathers, with paint across his nose.
Thump, thump went the drum, and bumped our blood,
And sent a strange vibration through the mind.
White Eagle, he was called, or Mr. White.

And he strutted for money now, in schoolrooms built
On Ohio’s  plains, surrounded by the graves
Of all our fathers, but more of his than ours.
Our teachers called it Extracurricular.

We called it fun. And as for Mr. White,
Changed back to a shabby salesman’s suit, he called it
Nothing at all as he packed his drums, and drove,
Tires screeching, out of the schoolyard into the night

spoken = Susannah Wood