Hard Life, Well Spent

Cowboys herdin’ cattle cross dusty trails

Sandy hooves paint ground fog in their wake

Shuffling along swattin’ flies off molty hides

Riders amble aside keeping eye on their stake

 

Chuck wagon camps, setting up by a creek

Beans and pan bread cookin’ over hot stones

Coffee’s meandering aroma penetrates the air

Greeting men carrying saddles over tired bones

 

Ranch hands scout the waters nearby

Look to the sky to judge the night

Storms a comin’ as night encroaches

Coyotes restless, cries rent last light

 

Cattle dogs alert to changes

Nip the heels of stragglin’ calves

Cowhand slaps his rope while coaxing

Blistered hands and lips in need of salves

 

Cowhands sing to calm their charges

Bedrolls gathered near the fire

Dreaming of a trail once taken

And of their loves as they retire

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