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24 March 2010

Manuel Lozano's "Ode to Adelita" from Seeds of Rebellion (Texas)

Ode to Adelita

I see you standing there
With your braids down past your shoulder
Combative in the strange nightmare,
Holding the stance of some brave soldier.
I never knew the concept of unbreakable laws.
Your rebellious nature was your cause,
And that is just how our eyes first met.
Through the dust I saw a silhouette,
It’s curvature seemed quite explicit,
And if there’s one thing I won’t regret,
It’s facing a hail of bullets not to miss it.
The smoke cleared just a bit.
I was looking from underneath my sombrero.
That dangerous form perfectly fit,
The wild dreamscapes of any pistolero.
The horizon curved at your hip.
I charged the bulls without a whip,
And every horn just went by grazing.
Through hell fire I went racing,
Then reached a lone standing adobe wall.
The gunslinger was forever bracing
To that fate that will entice us all.

My spirit revels in the whirlwind,
And the whirlwind picks up dust.
By far the best place I’ve ever been
But never one that you can trust.
The dry clay flew in bits and chunks.
Streets were filled with monks and drunks,
And they fire well I must add.
This was the best nightmare I ever had,
For it involved some dangerous curves.
That soldadera was bold and bad.
Gun powder never really rattled her nerves.

The streets are dirt and loose gravel.
The village is deep in the desert’s heart.
I saw all sense of peace suddenly unravel
When they ripped the sacred land apart.
The peasants crossed their bandoleers,
The sky shed its many tears,
And we united against the corporation.
We defend the soul from the creature’s invasion,
And this is where I picked it up.
Adelita will never lose her concentration,
And she’s aiming at those who are corrupt.

That adobe wall is still growing smaller,
Our rifles blast through the arena,
The peso drowned along with the mighty dollar
In what is now the ruins of the cantina.
Reflex grows so quick to hustle,
She is fast at flexing that muscle,
And it triggers more uprising.
Her brown eyes are also quite enticing,
And that pin-point precision only allows you to hear it,
Adelita knows that nothing can be surprising
As we share in that revolutionary spirit.

Mamá Licha and Manuel Lozano

"Ode to Adelita" on YouTube

To comment "Ode to Adelita," visit

To see more of Manuel Lozano's work, visit Manuel Lozano: Xicano Writing

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