MEMORIAM PALO DURO CANYON

Garvin Tate, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, June 11, 2001

 

As old shadows from long ago

fill this ancient empty space,

we all have come to honor those

whose refuge was this sacred place.

 

We've sought out their hidden home.

Being here serves as our token

of respect for their lives, so broken,

by means never to be seen again.

 

To this last stronghold on the plain,

their final journey we now make,

to this jagged gash of joy and pain

where the earth itself seems to break.

 

We have come to tell their story.

To tell it truly, at long last,

Unmarred by the pride and glory

that mask the pages of the past.

 

As rifles fired on those below,

they climbed the crumbling canyon slope.

Wives and children were first to go,

while men held on with fading hope.

 

With horses dead, and coming snow,

The smoke and fire had done enough.

They walked El Llano Estacado

To the fort at Medicine Bluff.

 

They'd led lives, so free and bold,

from secret sites, for years untold,

in a world that had no borders.

Now, even the Earth has owners.

 

So let us raise both voice and drum,

and let their song once more be sung,

to send beyond this canyon wall,

a sound that joins us one to all.

 

And let us teach our children well,

so they, in turn, this tale shall tell.

And in this way all men will know

the silent secrets of Palo Duro.

 

COPYRIGHT - GARVIN TATE

 

RETURN TO:  QUANAH PARKER WEBSITE

 

Photo Credit - Randy Boman, Lubbock, Texas

Sound Credit - Southern Nations Drum (Looking Glass), Apache, OK