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.
Rough cut video posted to YouTube 2/28/11. Click here to watch the video.