TH’ OL’ COWBOY AND TH’ BIG OL’ TREE
By Donna Penley
He was plumb tired. Tuckered out and way past 80 years.
Though he’d admit he’d loved his life -- the usual triumphs, joys an’ tears.
He’d breathed the dust of ten thousand head, rode out bad broncs galore,
The years had now caught up to him. He couldn’t cowboy anymore .
He’d gone to town this mornin’ and drank coffee with his pards.
Back home he’d found his old camp chair in the shade in his little yard.
He lit his pipe, leaned back and puffed and the smoke rolled ‘round his face;
Where else could a body find such peace? He answered himself -- “No place”
Without thinking much about it he glanced up at the huge old tree,
That for years had made him shade and shared it’s soul so free.
He dozed off then, remembering when he and the tree were small;
His Pa had him help to plant it in his ninth year -- in the fall.
Through the years he’d watched it grow to the huge tree it was now,
Why did it grow stronger every year, and he just old?
He loved it, anyhow.
AND TH’ YEARS HAD JUST CAUGHT UP TO HIM --
TIME TO CLOSE THAT DOOR,
TIME TO GIVE IN TO TH’ TRUTH,
HE COULDN’T COWBOY ANY MORE.
And the tree stood over him as the old man slipped away.
Donna Penley is a Cowgirl Poet with deep Kansas roots who has been writing cowboy poetry for over twenty five years. She is a real Cowgirl and an ex-barrel racer.
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