Like water running away
From your mountains, from your lush little groves
I’m hanging out in my t shirt, shaking my spray can
Your hidden brother.
If you want to hurt your hand, try punching my arm
Try punching my chest, try punching my face
You want to hurt your hand.
‘Cause while you were talking to our sister up in Denver
I’ve been down here working
No one bothers me down here.
We are all family down here, and we work.
We lay rails, we roast chilies, we make brick.
We wash our faces in the Arkansas and get strong.
We paint our dreams and nightmares and get strong.
We fight and drink and eat and love and get strong.
We write the stories and play the music and mold the bronze and brush the canvas and get strong.
We almost forgot you were up there, brother.
See, you can’t look down on your brother Pueblo because
We don’t see you.
Those mountains are the back fence.
That’s the place we threw our rocks and trees
They were getting in the way
Of our work
That levee is our canvas
That’s where we put the dreams that were too big for anyplace else.
Who else could dream like Pueblo?
We clear the deck and lay out the material
We look around for the plans
We start building.
Those stacks are still here, so let’s smoke.
‘Cause where there’s smoke, there’s fire and we are burning
So where’s the ash? Look for our dusty winds
Where’s the spark? Look in the eyes of a Bojohn,
Where’s the blue flame? Look in the halls of Central High
Where’s the red flame? Look in the rooms of Centennial High
Where is the tongue of yellow flame, or the blackened charcoal? East and South high schools are there.
We are forging something new, brother.
If you think your streets get hot, don’t walk on ours.
We are forging something strong, brother.
If you think we are waiting for you
You are wrong, brother.
We know you won’t wait for us
So we go ahead.
Maybe you can catch up later.
We are forging something real, brother
Because our Mineral Palace is gone
But the gems are buried underneath the ground
Because we didn’t leave Union, but the union
Because when everything gets taken away and life gives you a hard kick,
All you have is you.
So you limp your way up the mesa
Park your butt on the hill and look at what our Pueblo was
All day, looking out on that vista, day to night.
A song of blue and rosy clouds painting the sky
At sunset; making everyone believe
Then when the dimness seeps into
The edges and corners, then when the darkness begins to flood the distant places
Until we are submerged in night and the lights of the people are
The same as the stars in the blackness that in our night
The horizon is erased by smudging the lines with our thumbs.
And we sing and cry and laugh and climb into our beds,
We dance to the guitars and shake our bells and feathers
We feel and are hurt again.
In the morning, we are still sore.
Our ribs were cracked and our breathing ragged
Our tongues felt around for missing teeth.
What we lost we must have swallowed.
(Those precious stones are buried.)
Nobody came running to pick us up, and you seemed pretty busy, so
We had to make our way.
We had to hunker down and gather up
We had to get our steel and find some flint
To get the friction started
Within our own hands.
Keeping some water nearby because things can catch on pretty quick
At times you don’t expect.
You don’t walk down our streets without
A look in the eye; and if you are lucky, a strong handshake
Trust is easier than you think, brother,
If you come down the hill