Posted by: Oklahoma Sun | December 26, 2009

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo.

Alice Corbin. Red Earth: Poems of New Mexico, 1920.


PEDRO MONTOYA of Arroyo Hondo
Comes each day with his load of wood
Piled on two burros’ backs, driving them down
Over the mesa to Santa Fe town.

He comes around by Arroyo Chamisa—
A small grey figure, as grey as his burros—
Down from the mountains, with cedar and pine
Girt about each of the burros with twine.

As patient as they are, he waits in the plaza
For someone who comes with an eye out for wood,
Then Pedro wakes up, like a bantam at dawn—
Si, Senor, si Senor—his wood is gone.

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo
Rides back on one burro and drives the other,
With a sack of blue corn-meal, tobacco and meat,
A bit to smoke and a bit to eat.

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo—
If I envied any, I’d envy him!
With a burro to ride and a burro to drive,
There is hardly a man so rich alive.