They are tearing up that old road again.
The road we built.
with sweat and blood
and paved in dreams of love.
Old man Grady died there.
Fell off the steepest of the ridge cliffs
into a mad white torrent of river
clutching his pick axe firmly.
For three dark days
we stopped work.
His wife still visits every year.
Throwing fresh colored flowers
grown in her lonely summer garden.
Back then we all worked the mules.
And at the end of every day
the men would all gather
with full whiskey bottles and rye.
Women would bring the cheese and bread.
We laughed and proudly praised the road.
God would smile upon us.
Before the labors
we never could cross
when the hard rains of spring came.
And when the heavy snows of winter fell
we became an isolated island.
No one would ever dare the mountain.
But every six months
when the summer sun cleared the pass
we would haul our goods to town.
Selling animal skins and crops
we kept the children happy.
I hear the roar of the bulldozers coming now.
Our love will soon be paved and covered over.
The women and children are crying.
They’ve hit a silver vein.
And the mining company
brought their bankers and lawyers.
Our love has been bought and sold.
They are tearing up the road again.
The road we paved
with our dreams of love.
December 13, 2001