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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Sheep camp,   p. 13


Page 13


Sheep Camp
    Chilkoot Trail, Oct-i897
Four days, downpour: now reports of the peak
in white-out, pack-mules-already half-starved-
frozen under drifts. Anna never sleeps:
drunks take turns grunting on a five-dollar
whore, then trip over their tentstakes or piss
on the flap. Mongrels move in barking packs.
And everywhere: horses-hobbled by sticks
across their flanks-fester with sores, their backs
raw from coarse-wool blankets and creeping damp.
The sun has disappeared. Somehow, Abe snores,
even when grumbling turns shout. Across camp,
someone fires a pistol. Cry of a horse.
Silence. Then laughter, more shots, a dull thud.
Hillsides echo. The horse thrashes the mud.
13


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