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SPARK » Tyson West and Elizabeth Akin Stelling

Tyson West and
Elizabeth Akin Stelling

Elizabeth Akin Stelling
“Bystander”
Inspiration piece

You Can’t Buffalo Me
By Tyson West
Response

Sister Elizabeth, you can’t tell me
You got bison in New Jersey
‘ceping maybe in a couple of your fancy zoological gardens
We got real ranches out here
As raises them
And I done poked a few
But I’m a guess’n you couldn’t call me no buffalopoke for having done so
No over here west of the Rockies
No native herds persist
Mountain men killed off our plateau band
At least a century before the tigers
Went extinct in watermelon sugar
But I got to let you in a little secret
Of this great Columbia of ours
Anything we feel guilty about
We gotta mint on a coin
First coins were liberty heads ideas of freedom
Mostly women while we was a keeping slaves
And not letting them women vote neither
Hell, railroads brought in trainloads of tourists
With sharps rifles to butcher whole bison herds
Leaving their corpses to feed the vultures and coyotes
Then ground up the piles of white bones
For fertilizer to grow the wheat
They milled to give to the Indians on reservations
To give them the sugar diabetes
Sister Elizabeth
The greatest gelt was the buffalo nickel
Got an Indian on one side
And its food nearly driven to extinction on the other
More than one state quarter
Got bison on the back
By the way did you know the word nickel
Come from the German kupernickel
Meaning copper demon?

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