A Story by Sherman Alexie

The current New Yorker has a magical story by Sherman Alexie, "War Dances." I won't try to describe the story, but it does contain this previously published poem by Alexie:

Mutually Assured Destruction

When I was nine, my father sliced his knee
With a chainsaw. But he let himself bleed
And finished cutting down one more tree
Before his boss drove him TO EMERGENCY.

Late that night, stoned on morphine and beer,
My father needed my help to steer
His pickup into the woods. “Watch for deer,”
My father said. “Those things just appear

Like magic.” It was an Indian summer
And we drove through warm rain and thunder,
Until we found that chainsaw, lying under
The fallen pine. Then I watched, with wonder,

As my father, shotgun-rich and impulse-poor,
Blasted that chainsaw dead. “What was that for?”
I asked. “Son,” my father said. “Here’s the score.
Once a thing tastes blood, it will come for more.”

Here is a brief interview with Alexie about his new book, War Dances.