Silver Water Tower
I remember when I was a child,
on weekends my father and I
drove down to visit my grandmother.
We took the old road, and my father
smelled like part of the land,
and as we came closer,
his face took on a wholesome expression,
and it seemed the history of the land
shone bright in his brown eyes.
I looked to his face, then out the window,
and saw the first sign of my little town,
where my grandmother lived,
and the silver water tower stood
on tall lank steel legs;
ESTANCIA, boldly lettered black
across its silver tank top.
It was by the school where my uncle worked
and by tall green grass he watered,
and I played in when a young boy.
It was the sign that home was near,
where the link of my true blood was unbroken,
and thrived solidly in a little silver hair’d woman,
with ancient customs, y pura sangre nuestra;
a home my father became son, y Hombre,
and I a wonderful miracle,
un Nino, another generation, de mi raza!
It was here where I found myself,
with time to sit outside in the shade,
and talk of chili, cows, trees and horses,
time to walk through fields to a friend’s house,
time to understand the meaning
de la familia, de la raza, juntas,
luchando para abanzar, el foturo destino.
Like so many Chicanos, in need of work,
driven to the city from their way of life,
I rebelled, no con mi mente,
pero con mi corazon,
and I came to prison.
I am not allowed to lay on the grass here;
it’s Saturday here, I lean against the fence,
my back to the prison water tower,
still, I feel joy, me siento a toda madre,
about coming home again.