A Digger's Day Is Never Done

just before dawn
There came a brief, hard desert rain

I wheeled my old bicycle out
Into the morning puddles
And headed downtown - into the Barrio

Not sure why
but I like it down here

Narrow streets that are alive
Old adobe houses painted bright pink
And yellow, purple, orange and lime green

Chickens in a yard

A bright metallic blue '63 Impala
Low rider with the doors open
The player blasting a Ranchero accordion

Out onto the street

Someone is cooking frijoles
Someone else chicken

A couple of vatos in baggy Dickies
Pass a joint as they change a flat on an Accord
As I glide through the smoke

They shoot me the requisite hard looks

An old black dog in a narrow spot of sun
Barely raises his head as I pass
Then lets it drop

I'm not worth barking at

There's a young woman on the corner
With Medusa hair - thick and heavy
Flying away in all directions

A fire of black snakes
She smiles - I ache

Santana blares from a window
A door slams a dog barks
I hear a woman singing

A guy patches his roof
Another guy sits in the yard with a bottle
A fading mural of skeletons sleeping

In the ground
as Conquistadores march overhead

A grizzled, grey guy about my age
Brown beret and a beat up leather jacket
Swings up into an ancient pick-up

La Raza sticker in the window

In the evening

My son drops by with his lady
I've made a pot of chili
And we sit and talk

Looking into their bright eyes
I wonder if their's is the last
generation to reach adulthood

I can't think of that

My son hugs me tight as they leave
And I whisper - Just live - Live it all!
Then listen to his little pick-up
Growl out into the night

© 2003 - Bob Gouge

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