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Vanishing Point

Riding westward towards the sunset

with the Superstitions in my view,

I saw them only for a moment --

riders on a ridge in the deep blue.

They might have been Apaches

or maybe some other tribe

silhouetted there so sadly

on the western sky.

Knowing the heat of the high desert

can play tricks on tired eyes,

I wish I had seem them better

for long enough to trace the lines,

though those sad, ragged figures

at the moment they appeared

looked like they had been there

more than a hundred years.

Rolling on a blacktop highway

where wild horses used to run,

along this road, going my way,

who knows what crimes could have been done?

Our fathers built roads and bridges,

canyons of steel and glass,

and all these places where we're living,

all on stolen land.

Maybe you have seen the footprints

places along the Trail of Tears.

There are some who wouldn't

speak the truth of what happened here.

It wasn't sharp-eyed marksmen,

it was hunger, and sickness too.

Cherokee blood watered the heartland

and something bitter grew.

In the stack of broken treaties

is a history you can read

of promises with no meaning

that white men never meant to keep.

I'm grateful for the freedom

our fathers gave to us

and sorry for the way they treated

this country's native sons.

You see the point on the horizon

where the lines on the blacktop seem to meet.

Sometimes truth comes out of hiding

when you really want to see

and if you draw the picture

and the spirit of this place,

you need to sketch the figures

that are its truest face.

The rough cut video was posted on YouTube on 2/28/11 - click here to watch that video.

an acoustic guitar

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