Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Boletas and Senoritas by Bob Atkinson

Boletas and Senoritas

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

a lion worth ten dollars
a bull only five, no more
a horse would bring a dollar
one rooster a half dollar silver worth

a calf? well, a quarter dollar
a pig, only one bit for it
these handy Boletas for currency
money carefully by hand printed

Tubac colored its own horse
different from other locales
empty of life when Anglos came
full of life, now a full grown town

Charlie and his fine men
eager to please the traveler
built up adobe dwellings
stocking whiskey in their cellars

women flocked in from Sonora
on mules, on feet, on wagons
to find an employed husband
get married by the man

Cardinal found out this gent
married couples outside the church
sent his envoy to correct this thing
or secure monies for his purse

miners could support their women
they had these paying jobs
satin, lace and hams were wished
and children by the dozen

men labored daily in the mines
one mine bore the name of Sam
the other, hidden south of Arivaca
Montana Peak was Poston's on the lam

a tightly knit community
where guns were never used
a happy little bunch of men
and women with new shoes

Apaches had befriended them
as they moved across from Texas
deserts below mountain ranges
river waters always abundant

the treaty Charlie had enforced
seemed simple to his brain
leave them alone and they will go
upon their merry way

Apaches and the Mexicans
held much against each other
something about the slavery
Spaniards used for muscle power

out of the ground the slaves
dug silver and gold, no pay
hard work until death would come
to give them some restful days

women and small children
of those who worshipped not
the God of those who believed
heathens had true spirit lacked

freely moving upon the lands
Apaches took revenge for this
winning sometimes, sometimes losing
a fearful tit for tat

all felt the wrath of those who had
muskets, rifles, arrows, spears
a struggle of identities ancient
sometimes dishonest tricks were used

three hundred years of battles
two hundred towns of lore
sent bad men packing for their homes
from the east then came some more

first bunch had tamed the wild men
with talk and nothing more
friendliness of purpose
alternative would be some gore

so, for nearly five years
from fifty-six 'til sixty-one
peace stayed here in this land
while men for good ore dug

a few times were misunderstandings
as fourteen found at Canoa Ranch
when lumber men had no knowledge
of when to kill and when to fall back

then the force of arrogance destroyed
all good will which had been planted
when Bascom held Cochise's friends
and relatives for kidnapper's ransom

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