Monday, February 9, 2009

The American Cowboy

The American Cowboy

The Farm and Ranch magazine came in the mail today. No I've never lived on a farm or a ranch, but I love the magazine. I pour over the pages again and again. I've always loved the rural way of life. I can't really explain's just different.
So anyway, I'm looking through the magazine and as I turn to page 63 I stop short. There it is in the Viewfinder section. I slow down...I stare at the page. This is what I love. Pictures of real life cowboys in Montana and Wyoming. A picture of a cowboy herding cattle with the Teton mountains towering in the background. The Tetons in Wyoming...a place that I saw for the very first time in 2001 while driving to Yellowstone National Park for vacation. We stayed in Jackson, Wyoming. A beautiful town, in a beautiful valley, in a beautiful state. I was in love. I remember seeing the Tetons as they loomed ahead, and thinking, "God this has got to be the closest thing I'll ever see to Heaven on earth." The majesty of it all was overwhelming.
So these pictures in Farm and Ranch are of cowboys. Cowboys that shoe their own horses, cowboys that work outside even in the pouring rain at the Triple J Ranch in Montana, cowboys that move their cattle to lower pastures as winter sets in, in the Tetons, ones that know how to use a lariat, and brand horses in Wyoming's Buffalo Valley.
They are the American Cowboy.

Cowboy Poetry
John P. Doran

One More Day

My bones are stiff, they’re sore and old.
It’s getting hard to ride.
And most my best old running pards
have crossed that great divide.

And though I know my time is short,
still I’ve had a damned fine run.
I only ask , "Lord, one more day,
there’s some chores left to be done."

You see I’ll need some time at dawn
an hour, maybe two
to watch the sun rise on the hills
and turn the sky to blue.

And one more time I want to ride
that old buckskin cayuse
I’ll brush him down and check his feet,
but I’ll cinch the saddle loose.

An hour thus is not a waste,
we’ve been partners many years.
So I’ll take my time and talk to him
I think he knows my fears.

And there’s that faithful old ranch dog
lying by the tack room wall.
I’ll take some time to scratch his ears
I bet he’s seen it all.

And when the grand kids, so full of life,
come running down to me,
I’ll stop and make a little time
to dandle them on my knee.

For they’re the reason we are here.
I’ll spin a cowboy tale for them.
I’ll tell it good, I’ll make them laugh
there’s no better time to spend.

Then we’ll beat the sun in the afternoon,
grab a couple of old cone poles,
And we’ll walk down by the riverside
and check the fishing holes.

Then when evening comes I need some time
to watch the setting sun.
With my wife beside me I still don’t know
how I got old when she stayed young.

We’ll sit and rock and watch the stars
fill out the evening sky.
We’ll talk and laugh and reminisce
about the times gone by.

And I need some time to tell her
just how much she’s filled my life.
And it’s still a mystery to me why
she choose to be my wife.

I owe her more than I could ever pay,
for her soft and gentle ways.
How she raised our kids and made a home,
she loved me all these days.

So you see I can’t go just yet,
I’ve all these debts to pay.
Please let me stick around the ranch dear Lord
for one more day.

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