Snow tomorrow, clouds low, wind bites
high on the mountain, on the Homer,
south side of Remy Gap. Cinch-up,

big calves. Black cows crowd the gate
for each four-hundred pound baby
to escape ropes and smoke, horses and

men before the storm – to find her close,
waiting to go back to steep home in the
hollows of brush and rock, seeps of water

ponded, to look straight-down on town,
river, and the mesmerizing highway where
cars trail up and down like ants towards

unknown purpose steadily. Shed
cumbersome coat sleeves, build and swing,
loosen-up right humerus and clavicle.

I was the young man here, once upon a time –
never thought it’d last – never thought
I’d ever weaken, choose slow instead of fast.

                                           – for Brent Huntington

2 responses to “WAITING AT THE GATE

  1. Rode the twenty year-old Red horse yesterday, had a ball branding calves, watching the young men, Matt Wells, Chad Lawrence and Russ Fisher rope, trying not to embarrass myself with weak loops, falling short. The first three did, of course, as hinges squeaked and memory in my muscles struggled. Soft right hand has some hide missing, couple of blisters, cotton lint on the Red horse’s shoulders – roped nice calves on the Shrock Ranch.


  2. Brent Huntington

    ” …to escape ropes and smoke, horses and men before the storm-”
    Great line John. A one sentence story.
    I enjoyed watching you and Clarence show the young guns how to consistently get to the fire. Something to strive for.


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