If Jesus came from White Swan
Instead of a manger
He spent his first night in the back of a Dodge Caravan,
surrounded by a menagerie of mule dogs and a few unbroke horses.
He loves basketball.
He’s good for a stealth joke told with a straight face, the kind that
sneaks up on you,
and leaves you laughing a long time
hugs the shoulder of Fort road after dark
wearing basketball shorts and an XL hoodie,
hands buried deep in the pouch pocket.
He doesn’t look you in the eye
ends his sentences with “ay…”
Decent folks peg him right off:
as he walks through the Country buffet parking lot heading toward the mall,
they look down, lock their car doors.
He can walk a long way, and in winter might jog
home to grandma’s to keep warm
if he can’t catch a ride.
Since his mother was an unwed teen when he was born,
Jesus naturally lives with Grandma.
His first miracle is turning wine into water.
Even though he belongs to a small band of confederated tribes
you’ve never heard of
surrounded by a mighty empire,
he is still the son of God.
He could but doesn’t heal
Celilo falls of the dam
that divides the land of his people.
At rock creek,
he feeds thousands with
dip net and digging stick.
Together, he and his people
gather the bounty of the promised land.
He takes a few friends with him
To the top of Mount Adams,
where he is transformed:
His clothing becomes light,
His face hot and bright as the sun.
If you, unbelieving, are there
the lightening coursing down your spine
drops you to your knees,
your face pushed against the cool grit of blessed earth.
He speaks with Kamiakin and Strong Heart
and a voice from a cloud
“this is my beloved son;
by Sarah Augustine about the town near where she lives on the Yakama Reservation