The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Paul searches out
an empty
quiet library corner
where the stacks
hide him
from the scrutiny
of teachers
and the world
at large.

There he opens
a challenged book
and turns
to the introduction
and primes
the canvas of his mind
to be painted
with apostasy.

When he finishes
for the day
he hides the book
among other
shelved books
on a top row
between esoteric titles
of Slavic poetry
by Wisława Szymborska
and a Polish treatise
about Warsaw’s
ghetto brothels
during World War II.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


A challenged book is one that libraries, schools and/or political jurisdictions have attempted to ban. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian was the number 1 most challenged book for the decade 2010-2019. It is a favorite book of mine.

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