The Silver City Trail
(Lament from 36,000 feet)
There’s a trail leads o’er the mountains
From the shining Rio Grand.
She heads near ole Caballo Lake,
Mid glistening desert sand.
She winds her way up Percha Creek
Till old Hillsboro she finds;
Then pauses there for respite,
Where they’re making Black Range Wine.
On up the creek she rises,
Across a bridge or two,
Then settles down in Kingston town
Before she bids, “Adieu!”
Ever winding back and forth,
She gains swift elevation.
Then, conquering high Emory Pass,
She’ll pause in admiration.
Up here the mulies romp and play
And the black bear makes his home.
The coyotes sing in the mountain breeze
To the grey dove’s lonesome song.
Heaven’s portal gives way to the devil they say,
Whose backbone threatens destruction.
Be careful up here, the end may be near
For any careless or casual button!
Drifting on down from the whispering pines,
Through mountainous canyons she’ll rally.
Then charmed by the Rio Membres she’ll wind
Through the verdant and picturesque valley.
She’ll give a wave to the hands of the old Wigwam Ranch
Where, as kids, we once laughed and played;
And where the Mimbreños of old once chanted and danced
In the bosque of the broad river plain.
Then pressing on westward through pinõn and cedar,
She’ll zigzag and climb one more time
Up to where the infamous copper will greet her;
And she’ll hail the good folks in the mine.
And up on the mountain, such a sight to behold,
The virgin forever kneels,
Offering eternal, obeisant amore;
A symbol of grace and genteel.
Mindful of the One to Whom our lady pays homage,
She’ll join her in tribute and praise,
As generations, now gone, have done well before her
From ancient and primitive days.
Still to the west, neath shimmering skies,
She’ll hasten to carry me on,
To old Silver City where heart and hearth lies,
And, in dreams, old friends welcome me home.
High above gazing dolefully downward,
With my heart in my throat, I bewail,
“Oh, how I wish I was down there a ridin
On that old Silver City bound trail!”
Copyright © 2022 Philip R. Stroud
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