Apache Indians hunt the buffalo.

Comanche arrive on the war trail to Mexico,

the Apaches disappear.

On the staked plain, a sacred white buffalo waters at Deep Creek.

A hunter shoots the albino with ease

and skins it as tumbleweeds tumble by.

Pete from Pennsylvania opens a trading post.

Big cattle ranches arrive.

Rusty untangles a hung up goat.

Barb wire cuts into its neck.

Nearby, a mare nudges its foal.

The Santa Fe Railroad lays tracks through town

and builds a depot, and men warm themselves

by a fire of burning crossties.

The Snyder Rodeo Arena opens.

Overseas, Snyder’s son Bobby orders his men across a canal.

Bobby is fatally hit by enemy fire.

Farmers plant cotton in cow pastures.

The bank folds in the Great Depression.

Friday night football begins,

Snyder Tiger adolescents become heroes.

A prospector discovers the Canyon Oil Reef,

the town triples in size.

A Phillips 66 gas station-restaurant opens.

Powers Boothe flees Snyder, acts in movies.

Oil collapses. Money leaves.

A boy falls asleep watching a Zenith television

in a small frame house on 3765 Avondale.

A dung beetle rolls a ball of dung

on a scraggly cattle ranch at town the edge.

The citizens erect a white buffalo statue.

They argue about its testicles, remove them.

A rich man parks a gold-plated Delorean

in the Snyder National Bank lobby.

An employee at the gas plant claims a UFO hovers,

a disc with lights, soars to the southwest.

Tumbleweeds ramble across the fields into mesquite.

The wind reveals an arrowhead in a creek bed.

Down the dirt lane where huge wind turbines line the horizon,

the white buffalo skin hangs on a ranch house wall, decays.

Alan Nelson

Alan Nelson has poetry and stories published or forthcoming in numerous journals including New York Quarterly, The Stand, Acumen, Pampelmousse, Main Street Rag, Texas Observer, California Quarterly, Connecticut River Review, Adirondack Review, Red Cedar Review, Wisconsin Review, South Carolina Review, Ligeia and Whale Road Review. He also played the lead in the viral video “Does This Cake Make Me Look Gay?” and the verbose “Silent Al” in the Emmy-winning “SXSWestworld.”

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