the wax paper

Chips of the Rock

The boats cut the water
And docked on the island’s shore
Carrying mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters
Forgotten prisoners of a forgotten war.

While the peace, love, Civil Rights generation
Skat Beat hippie city street blues,
Two kids of Midwest industrialization
Watched the rebellion on the evening news.

So, sister-brother, braid your hair
And dare to want more
Than what each of us has.
Let’s go and join the Indians living on Alcatraz.

They said, “Mother, we wish we, too, had the right. 
To cross that bay and beach beneath that guard tower.” 
“Stand up, my children, you, too, are in the light.
You are in the blood of red power.”

So, sister-brother, braid your hair
And dare to want more
Than what each of us has.
Let’s go and join the Indians living on Alcatraz.

After years of negotiation,
The movement ebbs with the icy tide of the bay. 
And as the last left with little commotion, 
Teach your children well to remember old ways
Because we are all just chips of the rock
Like Birdman and Al Capone. Take the tour. Feel their fame. 
But please remember Yvonne Oakes who flies
Over prison stair wells. Sing this song in her name.

So, sister-brother, braid your hair
And dare to want more
Than what each of us has.
Let’s go and join the Indians living on Alcatraz.

Scott Hohnstein is a songwriter and singer for many bands including The Workers, Scott Richard, and Shiv. www.reverbnation.com/theworkersofmissoula