In one of my past lives
when I wasn't busy being
Cleopatra or Ivan the Terrible,
I sailed with the Pilgrims
to the New Land. Only eight,
I watched dragons lift nightly
from frothing seas, fins
flared magestically like a
fat lady's fan, hissing
and slapping their tails
till the sun gods rose red
with rage every morning,
driving them back under.
My mother called me a liar,
washed my mouth out with soap,
but I'll say this:
there was no Plymouth Rock and
Priscilla never married John Alden.
She ran off with a good-looking Indian.
Her grandson snatched Custer,
made him skin and cook buffalo
for the entire tribe till he died.
The army generals made up that story
about Custer's Last Stand to force Congress
to do more about the 'Indian Problem'.
Now, if I were a liar, would I come clean
about all that stuff and mess up
everyone's apple pie vision of history?