I met him at the station
While waiting for a train
To go home.
He was older than the mountains
And younger than the sky,
And talked of both as old friends
That he's known.
I wasn't twenty-one yet;
My life still filled with innocence,
And trusted all the old friends
I'd never met before.
An instinct deep inside of me
Told me to listen to what the old man had to say.
And I wasn't in a hurry;
The train, it wasn't coming anyway.
He called himself Indian Joe.
He told me of the mountains
And the promises they made.
He told me of the life he left
To live among the white men in the city,
With gentleness and pain.
He knew he'd never see the mountains again.
We gave up on the train and took the bus,
Two lost souls helping one another to get home.
To go the right direction in a place I'd never been,
I trusted him.
While safely on our way to downtown San Francisco,
We talked some more about how life used to be
When he was young.
And before he left he have to me
A little token he reserved for old friends,
A necklace that changes colors with heat
And with mood.
He told me if I ever met an old friend
That I'd never met before, to pass it on.
Then he was gone.
Where are you Indian Joe?
Are you still living in the city,
Or have you found a way to get back home?
What old friend will I ever find
Who knows so much of life and living
To call even mountains and the sky his friend?
Will we ever meet again?