Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

My Father, the Drunk Savant


Editor’s Note: The following was previously published in The Burrow Press Review.

My father died at the Thunderbird Motel on Flood Hope Road. According to documents, he was beaten over a cigarette or a prostitute. I prefer the cigarette. I considered it an Indian death myself, while walking along the country roads of my reservation. His death intruded, and I could not fathom being a good person when I came from such misery.

He was an anomaly, a drunk savant. He took his colors, brushes, and stool with him when he left. It was harvest and the corn stalks were gold and waving at me. I was constantly waiting, looking out and within. When he left, he was lanky with a paunch, and his hair was black and coarse. He was wearing a baseball t-shirt and jeans covered in rust-acrylic.



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