The Real Road to Nowhere

The following prose poem appeared in Gutter Eloquence's issue #9
"The Road Issue."

The Real Road to Nowhere  

We tell the tourists to drive to the other-side-of-the-island to find the mall where they'll find some great deals on souvenirs from China, and they nod heads and ask to take photos of us--Alaska's pale Indians--and they touch my daughter's long hair and they pinch her cheeks and call her Eskimo and we smile and say 'go-ahead-shoot-us-again' and they snap off a few and then head off in their rental car all smiling and we wave politely as they drive off on our ten miles of paved road then roll on down the gravel logging roads for about a hundred miles, going this-way-and-that, driving over pot holes and bear shit until they find themselves at a dead end, a log-loading ramp left by a logging company that drops off into the ocean, because they came in on a ship and asked us how high above sea-level we are and then maybe we wonder what happens to all those tourists who are seeking a road outta here, a road to the mall, a road to see the civilized population, trying to find the igloos and the reservations where the real Indians live, and maybe from a hundred miles away on the other-side-of-the-island they can hear the echo of our war cries.

(Wrangell, Alaska from Mount Dewey)


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