Friday, July 25, 2008

Red Rock

Red Rock, a Native woman from Montana, shakes a Subway cup full of change. She looks put together, like she has a place to stay, but she's living off the streets. Her eyes seem to wander in her skull and she wears a crooked smile that comes easy. A spirit full of love. She hugs the guy we've been playing with, a well worn fellow who looks like he just got off a 3 year stint from the fishing boats and spent the next 6 months on the pavement. He speaks like a pirate, but the words barely make it through his beard and out his mouth. Food stains his shirt and there are leftovers in his beard. He's not a mean drunk at all, you can see his soft heart underneath the rags and the mumblings. Red Rock embraces pirate jim and, seeing our guitars, she says she has a song. We welcome it. She starts into "Call On Granny" and Noah and I fumble to fit chords underneath the melody, but it proves natural. In moments we're pulling out the recorder. Noah exhibits the kind of trust and bravado that makes me weep with joy, handing pirate Jim the recorder and showing him how to use it. Listening back, you can hear his dizzy hand wavering in the middle of our circle, capturing Red Rock's song.

We just call on Granny in the middle of the storm,
she points out the rainbow in the evening's burly warmth.
Between the rainbow sprites and the silly old elves
there wasn't much to hide
and the love on the ranch grows deep and wide.

The rainbow began in the back of our farming home
and ended in our fields of golden grain,
but when that pot of gold just didn't show
at the end of the pouring rain
we learned how to love and live with pain.

Granny died of years of heartache and a stroke
left us a farm and ranch and cellar that is broke.
We sold the ranch to a neighbor
who appreciates what we have,
but we still call on Granny when things are bad.