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The Gulf Between Us

You say flat and I say round

you stick to white and I welcome brown

What you think is truth I call lies

things you find funny just make me cry



The gulf between us

is wide and dark and deep

the gulf between us

wakes me from my sleep

the gulf between us

is hard to navigate

the gulf between us

is filled with hurt and hate

the ferry captain's tied his boat

tightly to the pier

The gulf between us

is strewn with suspicion and fear

You doubt the science that I believe

You think you’re in tune but you’re so off key

You take Jesus’ words and turn ‘erm around

Use ‘em to keep your fellow man down





Scared and hungry children

fighting to survive

Scores of angry women

that will not be denied

Bullets fly and bodies fall

when there's no compromise

Everyone's unhappy

No one's satisfied



The Southern Wall

I drove down to the southern wall

slats of steel thirty feet tall

I stuck my arm through an open space

and felt the warmth of Mexico's face

No migrantes were around at all

Just an hour before night falls

At the southern wall



Twenty miles north of the southern wall

brown-skinned boys playing baseball

mama calls out "Esta la hora de cenar.

Fresh tamales for little boys starved.”

All the dreamers short and tall

Have heard the stories of those who were caught

At the southern wall



The border patrol, los federales

they steal your money, your sanity and your soul

Narco teens, and lying coyotes

It’s hard to stay safe when the desert nights turn cold



Ten miles south of the southern wall

a little girl plays with a raggedy doll

Mama tells her, “You gotta be strong,

we’re going to live with abuela on the west side of Tucson”

Innocents running from the law

hopeful for the chance to leave it all…

At the southern wall

The southern wall…

Momma And Me


When Momma and me

crossed the Rio Grande Valley

looking for mercy

in the land of the free

they rounded us up and put us in prison

for no good reason

just to be mean



The cartels took over and poisoned our town

and those who resisted have yet to be found

the markets are empty my school is shut down

fields that were green are now dry and brown

...they poisoned our town





Poppa left home when they threatened our family

scared and alone without any money

he's not comin' back, that's what he told me

as he slithered away like a snake from a coyote

...they threatened our family



All we need is a room to call our own

toothpaste and soap,

clean clothes and a pillow

It's so cold in this cage,

and this aluminum cape

can't help me fly away



If we could just get to Corpus Christi

we could find work rather quickly

Momma can cook and clean to make ends meet

I'd work three jobs to keep myself busy Corpus Christi



Like Thieves


I work every day I've got a strong back

it isn't strength or a purpose I lack

Ten hours as day six days a week

covers the rent and something to eat



And we live our lives like thieves

in the shadows on dead end streets

dreaming that one day we’ll find a place to call our own

They think of us like weeds

Growing stubbornly out of the concrete

Hoping that ignoring us might make us go away

we live...our lives… like thieves



Four kids and a wife in a three-room shack

on the poor side of town next to the train tracks

Mattresses lined-up on the floor

you can barely open up the door





I got laid off and the rent is due

I’m standing in line for boxes of free food

Every little bit helps when you're close to the line

Truth is we struggle all the time



My oldest girl loves going to school

even though the rednecks can be cruel

her hair isn't blonde and her eyes aren’t blue

what's a girl from Monterrey to do?



Your tires kicked out dust and gravel

you told me you just needed to travel

and I couldn't ride shotgun this time

That old Ford needs oil and water

the radiator tends to boil right over

every time it runs for more than an hour or two

I stood on the steps

of that house we said we'd buy

watching you drive off

I couldn't even cry

the sky was turning pink

it was such a beautiful light

and I guess I'll be

sleeping alone tonight


The first few days I expected to see you

driving up the lane watching that car spew

black smoke from the tailpipe into the air

But after the first week I knew it was over

Pretty soon it'll be October

and I'll be planning a trip down south for one

I sat in the chair

where you used to sit and draw

pictures of yourself

that you'd tack up on the wall

I looked at those drawings

and never saw a smile

and I guess I'll be

sleeping alone awhile



You must have sold that Ford and bought another ride

there's no way that old thing could get that far

or maybe you just hopped aboard a train that headed west

and never stopped until you reached El Mar

continuing to search for who you are



I laid across the bed and stared off into space

closed my eyes and tried to see your face

when I finally did

it looked like you’d been crying

and I guess we'll be

sleeping alone tonight

Living Without You

I woke up early Sunday morning

Threw on a t-shirt and some jeans

On the beach the sun was rising

over rough and churning seas

I don't know why the sea is angry

But I'm feeling angry too

All alone and living without you



Ten years from now I'll still hear you calling my name

I'll remember Paris walking by the Seine

Thinking of all the good times mostly brings me pain

I know I’ll never lay with you again



I poured a second cup of coffee

Flopped into my favorite chair

I thought I heard you in the hallway

But when I looked you were not there

Sometimes the silence fills my brain

and I don't know what to do

All alone and living without you





The afternoon was hot and sunny

When friends and family said goodbye

The preacher talked about your goodness

But all I could think of was your eyes

The way you looked into me

The love behind the blue

All alone and living

All alone and living

All alone and hardly living without you


They said that what don't kill you

makes you stronger than before

But these days that don't seem to be so true anymore

The threat’s out in the open

while we hide behind our doors

Who knows what comes next for us,

what troubles lie in store



How do I keep you safe?

How do I keep you close?

How do I keep you safe?

The ones I love the most.

How do I keep you safe?

Safe, How do I keep you safe?


I miss the closeness and the touch

of family and friends

I wonder when our lives will be normal once again

We spend too many waking hours

trying to defend

ourselves from what we cannot see,

it's hard to comprehend





Everything's temporary

So out of the ordinary

living like this is scary

and tomorrow brings more of the same

Everybody's looking for

someone they can blame

instead of trying to find the truth, it really is a shame

The lies and false assurances are

really quite insane

they make it seem like this disaster's nothing but a game



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