Friday, October 31, 2014

Medicine

There's a lawman on my step,
filling my door with white worries,
bending my ear with white noise,
but hesitant.

Three little girls, just little girls, messed with, murdered down at the camp.  We got the son of a bitch that did it

I am wrinkled and old and I piss myself.

sure as shooting, he did it, but no one saw nothing, no one heard nothing. All the evidence was circumstantial

I am blind, but for my dreams.

and he was acquitted.  Got off scot free.  And, well, there's been talk that he used the Medicine.

Liquor swishes sweet in a bottle.  Tobacco press prickles my hand.

And, we'd like a little, too.

***

I could have told the lawman to take his white
worries and whiskey and leave,
but I didn't.
Yes, I am old and wrinkled and I piss myself.
I have one ratty room, government cheese, and no teeth.
Dead white girls are nothing to me, but the Medicine . . .
the Medicine is my last breath,
and blasphemy is a blackened lung.

***

There is no dance; I'm too old for that.
There is no chant; I haven't the voice.
That's all just tourist trap trappings, anyway.

It's just will

to be wind,
smoke 

to be smoke,
and letting

the leaving
stop the breathing

and stop a heart.

I start.

***

And in other news, accused killer, Joey Elkhart, was found dead in his home last night.  Elkhart, as you may remember, was tried and acquitted for the grisly murders of three young girls at Camp Morgan last year.  Elkhart died of an apparent heart attack.
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Process Notes:  This piece is based VERY loosely on the 1977 Girl Scout Murders that took place at Camp Scott here in Oklahoma.  The prime suspect in the killings was a Cherokee Indian named Gene Hart.  Hart eluded capture for ten months, and rumors began to circulate that Hart was using Cherokee Medicine to elude capture (he was eventually captured in the home of a Cherokee Medicine Man).  Hart was tried and acquitted of the crimes in March, 1979.  

At the time of the trial, a local (different) Medicine Man that had been assisting the police prophesied that the Great Spirit would strike Hart down if he were guilty and acquitted by the white man's court.  On June 4, 1979, Hart suffered a fatal heart attack.  He was only 35 years old.

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads.  Happy Halloween!   

17 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Amazing, horrific story and an incredible post for the day, MZ!! You never cease to amaze me! Have a great weekend!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

HOL-LEE CRAP! This is just fantastic. The line "I am blind, but for my dreams" is stunning. The tale is grisly, and gripping. And the heart attack fitting, given he had evaded justice. A superlative write, Mama Zen.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

As usual, you took the prompt and gave it unexpected compassion and requisite creepiness. Wonderful, my friend.

Susan said...

I like this story from the point of view of the one with the medicine and the will and the piss and supposed blindness ... The medicine is in the will and heart, let him/her start!.

Helen said...

Damn fine writing, MZ! Damn fine.

Sioux said...

This was smoky. Like woodsmoke drifting through stands of trees.

And the note at the end is chilling.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Spooky that teaches...

Great poem. The structure does something amazing for the suspense. The tone made me think of The Tell-Tale Heart.

Thanks for the note. I never heard of this case. Now I will read it.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the "white" noise. A scary piece pulled from the headlines.

Fireblossom said...

Chilling, different, and riveting, MZ!

blueoran said...

Loved the way you let the slowly wind itself up on the "via negativa" (a road of negations, not this, nor that) until (to paraphrase Auden) all that is left is the medicine, and the medicine is all. Ogres and witches were supposed to be ugly because their power was invisible to the naked eye. Your gift for local color and vernacular is deep, girl. Keep going for the jugular.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

Good outcome well told.

Ella said...

Bone chilling! Wow, you really brought it!

Kerry O'Connor said...

The story behind the story is fascinating and your interpretation of the scenario is amazingly portrayed in your poem. The murder of young girls is so rife in my country that this strikes a chord with me through and through.

Marian said...

christ on a bike, this is terrifying!

Gail said...

Your writing in wonderful yet chilling.

The event horrendous.

I, too, feel there is always justice one way or another.

grapeling said...

episodic, fashioned so effortlessly ~

Margaret said...

I really enjoy how the style changes - it gives the feeling of time elapsing. Really liked the "one who pisses herself" explanation as to "why". You are so creative.