Chuck Toll


Coyote Meets Smallpox (Native American) Poem by Chuck Toll


Riding home, Coyote saw a man dressed all in black
Who was holding a large bag and sitting on a stone
Beside the trail. Drawing closer, he could see
The face was a skull, the rest of him just bones.

“Ya T’ey. You’re Coyote, aren’t you? ” said the skeleton,
I am Smallpox. I was coming to visit your village today
With this bag of warm blankets from the paleface women
At the fort. Then I got lost. Can you show me the way? ”

Looking from the skeleton to the bag, Coyote said
”I just left the village. I’m hunting deer and have their track.”
Smallpox said thanks, lifted the bag, and set off the way
Coyote had come. “I’ll see you when you get back.”

When he was gone, Coyote headed home at a race
To move his village quickly to a new and safer place.

Submitted: Saturday, October 20, 2007
Edited: Monday, April 18, 2011

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