Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Cowboy Father

He worked fields and rode the range,
and with each passing day
he watched the world
slowly change.

His hands once young
now showed wear from the years,
of roping calves and
chasing steers.

A long scar from barbed wire
that slipped off a tack,
a finger that went this way
instead of that.

His eyes matched his hair,
a cold steel gray
but in his heart
fond memories were all stored away.

In that place his secrets will keep
of love that was lost
of things that
would make you weep.

With friends like Jim, and Buck,
Toby and Slim
he worked late
even when the days were long.

His voice was deep
and though he said very little
a he worked
he'd often break into song.

If the old red truck wouldn't start
he would just stare,
roll up his sleeves,
and after a while say “there”.

The truck shook and rattled
as it started once again
not if it would break
as much as when.

He would not say a word
when he closed the hood
just gave me a wink
he knew I understood.

He had the gift of vision
and wisdom too,
and always noticed
the good cow poke in you.

Even the most fleeting glimpse
Would catch his eye
he saw things in life
that others let pass by.

He'd often smile to himself,
of a place far away,
a hawk over head
as the sun woke up the day.

As he leaned against the fence
He’d often look my way
I'd except in a moment
he'd have something profound to say.

He would offer up answers,
but never advice,
if you pondered a question
you needn’t ask twice.

His sayings were old
and dusty to say the least,
about an old dog, a pig or a tractor
that needed some grease.

But he'd give an easy feeling
that you'd sort it all out
whatever was troubling you
would be ok no doubt.

Then without a word
he'd just walk away,
a gait strong and steady
left over from his younger day.

I knew he legs hurt
and his back did ache
but he never complained
about his fate.

He was up before all
in the cold morning air
and long after quitting
time he was still there,

Work was done
when it was complete
the tools put up
and the shed made neat.

What he instilled in my life
has made me whole
in the values I hold
and the life I seek.

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