Once a young lad in New Mexico,
I lived on a spread where three rivers flow –
The Totah, they called it, the Navajo;
about which the big bluffs, arose to plateau;
around which the sides, the Totah below.
These are the plains of a mountainous range,
the Great San Juan Basin, of New Mexico.
Miles upon miles of great open spaces
formed where the forests uncovered the places
and opened up earth for the digging of dirt –
A work ethos, duty; the oil, the true booty –
unveils to us people, close in congruity.
A land of three rivers, where free waters flow;
a place of three races, we thereunto know:
The anglo, navajo, y latino.
Oil is the booty, work is an ethos;
the difference of three, the Totah erases –
work now the yoke for the folk of the three races.
Once a young lad, my father had said:
Boy, it is work, and work you get paid.
You seem now to lack the knack for the trade;
you best find you something that suits you, instead.
Eschewed by, shunted, the same folks I wanted
to be like, but those folks found in me bad.
And thus for this reason, I took the occasion
to abandon what traces of hope there I had,
in congruence in ethos, the Totah triad.
The next step for me, the US Army,
in leaving the Totah an anomaly.
A world opened up, the world had more races;
people where there from various places.
And each place I’d go, they wanted to know:
Why join the army, from New Mexico?
The many who asked, many were hip,
So I told them – My citizenship.
©2016, Marvin Loyd Welborn
16 October 2016