Where Once Brave Hearts Lived

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

There was a place along the Rio Grande where once brave hearts lived. It was the land of promise and of hope. The land that God had touched and had so graciously abound with the richness of its fertile soil and the warmth of its tropic winds and gentle rains.

WHERE ONCE BRAVE HEARTS LIVED

By Al Garcia

There was a place along the Rio Grande where once brave hearts lived.  It was the land of promise and of hope.  The land that God had touched and had so graciously abound with the richness of its fertile soil and the warmth of its tropic winds and gentle rains.  It was the valley of dreams where once brave hearts lived and where illusions and delusions came to die under the blistering summer sun. 

How great the expectation and anticipation of what awaited across the Rio Grande.  Huddled masses carrying nothing but their hearts and souls and dreams, venturing toward the gleaming radiance of virgin and unscarred lands.  This was the magic along the Rio Grande that my ancestors of so long ago saw beyond the banks of the flowing Rio Grande.  For dreams had no borders or boundaries back then, and the imagination of their thirsty minds had no limit to what they saw beyond the endless fields and pastures that once dotted the barren landscape of the blossoming valley along the Rio Grande. 

Proud of character and of spirit.  Brave of heart and filled with passion and with hunger to excel and succeed, the carters of my heritage brought forth a breath of inspiration and of vision to a place that once laid dormant and abandoned and forsaken.  It took dreamers like my ancestors to see the possibilities.  And it took their sweat and tears and even lives to clear the way to where we are today.

How dare someone say to one of us today, “You don’t belong here,” or “You’re not welcomed here.”  For those of us still living in the Valley, and whose parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents lived and died here -- working, nurturing and building the very foundation of what the Valley has become, we are the “blue bloods,” the true Texans, the children of the original settlers of the lands along the Rio Grande. 

The time of feeling inferior or to be treated like second-class citizens is long over.  That time and that place has long faded into our history books.  Our legacy is our heritage, and our heritage is the Rio Grande Valley.  It is a place where once brave hearts lived.  Brave hearts that endured discrimination and segregation at the hands of a few determined to take their gains and their lands away.  Brave hearts who dared to question at a time when their voice and their spirit were weak and fragile.  Brave hearts who shed tears of betrayal and of deceit.  We are the legacy of hate endured, power abused, decency deprived, and empathy denied.  We are the blossoming of our parents’ and our grandparents’ dreams.

It makes me feel strong and virtuous to know that I back to my roots.  To the place my parents called home, and to the place I now know to be my home.  There is a contentment in my heart to know that I have returned to where once brave hearts lived.

I feel brave, fearless, bold and strong, but only because I am back to where once the brave hearts lived, am I back to my roots and where it all began.


Submitted: May 22, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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