49ers / 49s

Some poetry
by Chris Hibbard


(Author’s note: In a Blackfoot Creative Writing class offered at the University of Lethbridge, I was introduced to what are traditionally known as ’49ers or ’49s’. These are short poems with English lyrics that used to be sung at pow-wow celebrations, particularly among First Nations’ war veterans. I took a crack at making some of my own.)

49s

I’ll never be the one for you
But I’ll pretend I can if you want me to
And when you later tell me to go away
I’ll just pretend it’s not okay

***

The day the world went up in smoke
Meant that someone had pushed the button
The day the world went up in flames
The button was forgotten

***

Isn’t it fantastic?
They gave us room and board
They’ll even us give us food and water
If we say it’s from their Lord.

***

Sign my snarling doggy mister
Won’t you do it for me
He’s not so mean if you know what I mean
He’s just a death machine

***

Have you taken your pills today I asked
She said I think I did
These pills she bought to increase her memory
But she can’t remember where they’re hid

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~ by Chris Hibbard on October 31, 2008.

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