RCMP Barracks

Regina, Saskatchewan

They haven’t marked the spot where he was hanged.

It might be in the parking lot where they keep the fleet vehicles. Nobody knows.

Maybe near the chapel, but you can’t go there.

You could try to leave the grounds, come at it from the other side,

but the guy taking admission in the museum is doubtful.

You can see where you want to go.

In your path, a series of security guards reciting their lines:

You need a chaperone. It’s a secure area.

You’ll have to come back for a tour.

A guard at a desk inside a condo called Fort Dufferin

says, You know what they say, eh.

They say go out there and pick a tree and that’s where it happened.

Then: You could walk over there alone, but you never know what might happen.

Then: They got the rope here. I know the woman who’s restoring it.

Hanged implies blame and you’re afraid to say it

but you say hanged over and over to people with weapons tucked in their belts.

And you hustle through the museum, snapping pictures, scribbling down each theft,

the moccasins behind glass, the beadwork, the Red River cart,

and a wide shot of the doorway to the little room with the thunderstorm lightshow,

the security camera above, watching you enter and leave.

Retiree in a blazer encouraging you to take pictures

while you’re in the middle of taking a picture,

trying to be friendly the way a cop tries to be friendly.

He reads you, and he’s rusty, and this might anger him.

He tells you to go into the little room with a camera above the door.

Press the English button. There’s going to be a thunderstorm.

Handcuffs through the decades, Dickens’ son’s sword and Strange’s medals,

dozens of buckles and buttons, the buffalo in the centre of each badge,

dramatization of buffalo staring, their Peabody single-shot rifles,

their handguns, their drawings of the cannons they dragged across the prairie.

The spoils of war. The boots and guns.

Everything side by each. To qualify for the force,

recruits had to be able to ride a horse,

and to read and write in either English or French.

They had to enlist for three years

and were paid seventy-five cents per day.

The Northwest Campaign: Three Accounts.

No Big Bear or Poundmaker, treasonous for expressing need and hence omitted.

Beardy given voice: Here’s my Treaty medal. If you believe me, return it, and they never


Metis through the headphones: We’ll fight if necessary.

The NWMP says nothing. The tape won’t play.

And you’re getting it now, just like they got it and put it on display:

Riel’s Bible. His knife. His holster. His crucifix.

The noose is in the back.

You met a guy who knows the woman who’s restoring it.

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