#97 Homesick Zuni by Michael M. Pacheco

Johnny Blackeagle left the bow and arrow
The AK-47 was now the weapon of choice
He left Zuni land for the mysterious territory of Allah
Like a good soldier he drank the kool-aid, no questions

Johnny Blackeagle’s people had pride and customs
His new Afghan neighbors have self-esteem and traditions
The rugged Hindukush mountains resemble the Zuni’s
And their worship to someone almighty resemble his practices

The Kabul River reminded him of the Zuni River
The children begging for candy, little Kachinas come to life
Women tending to their cooking, sewing and cleaning
Men tending to their squash, corn, beans, and maybe poppies

So much alike between Johnny Blackeagle’s and these people
So little that separates them as children of God
And then comes another order from higher up
There are insurgents here just like there are in the rez.

Michael Pacheco’s debut novel, The Guadalupe Saints recently won Second Place in the 2012 International Latino Book Awards. His novella, Seeking Tierra Santa, was released in May 2011. He’s been published in Gold Man Review, Boxfire Press, Acento Review, Red Ochre Press, Label Me Latina and Airplane Reading (twice)..


3 thoughts on “#97 Homesick Zuni by Michael M. Pacheco

  1. Glorious poem. Concrete, vivid and current. Nothing wasted. This line pops right out: ‘The children begging for candy, little Kachinas come to life’. The whole idea behind the poem is first rate.

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