The Resort on Kah-Nee-Ta Indian Reservation

by Yvonne Higgins Leach

The other tourists occupy lawn chairs
outside their cottage doors, and squint, like us,
toward the balding hills.
All day you and I brown like meat
under the broiler-sun, afloat
on our blow-up rafts in the mineral water.
Late afternoon we drive away from the valley floor,
from the pools and teepees to the hills where brush
clumps like hair on the flesh-toned earth,
and two horses feed miles from a fence.
In Warm Springs, we buy fry-bread and jam
in the reservation store. They are the ones
who refuse to work the resort,
and have the lesser house for it.
Driving back, we eat the warm bread
and even though the 100-degree air blusters
around us, we feel cool in our wet suits.
An Indian woman speeds by in her red Camaro,
her uniform sleeve flapping in the wind.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014). Her poems have appeared in South Dakota Review, South Carolina Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Wisconsin Review, among others. She earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Washington University in 1986. She spent decades balancing a career in communications and public relations, raising a family, and pursuing her love of writing poetry. Now a full-time poet, she splits her time living in Snohomish and Spokane, Washington.



You paint Madras, Oregon very well with words. Great piece!
Allen E. Rizzi, May 20, 2016