Cochise by Rustin Larson

When I was a boy, I would wait
Patiently all week for Batman.
The show aired Fridays at seven.
Everybody loved him. 10,000
Concussions a year cannot be wrong.

My cousins liked Batman,
But they liked Cochise better.
“I am Cochise!” Chris screamed
Pounding his chest at the top
Of the cellar stairs,
And then he dived on his brother, Curt.

Let me tell you a little about
The real-life Cochise.
Cochise was a chief of the Chokonen
Band of the Chiricahua Apache
And the leader of an uprising
That began in 1861.

The Chiricahua were a particularly
Resistant people. Cochise means
“Strength of an oak tree” in Chiricahua.

Cochise fought the Mexicans.
Cochise fought the Americans.
He was portrayed by Jeff Chandler
In the movie Broken Arrow.

Before my cousin took his dive down
The basement stairs, he had
Watched Broken Arrow.

Seventeen stitches and a concussion.

Cochise died in retirement
Of natural causes. His descendants
Live on the Mescalero Apache
Reservation in New Mexico.

My cousin still lives. He is
A tall person. The real life Cochise
Was about 5’ 10’’ and 175 pounds:
Thick neck, broad shoulders.
Azurite, a deep blue stone, is found
On the land where Cochise
And his people lived.
People collect stones
For a variety of reasons,
But they jump down a flight
Of stairs for just a couple,
Or maybe three at the most.
Cochise took
The Mexicans and the Americans
Seriously enough to fight them.

Cochise took over
The body of my cousin and cast
It down the stairs at my other cousin.

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