No, Virginia


March 3, 2015

Top of Sulphur – March 3, 2015


…you’re not the only ones
who don’t get ‘em all
gathered and branded:

mothers friends, born
and raised together
in trees tangled with brush,

running mates escaping
the Horse Lot in Greasy.
You were there when

they bolted at the sight
of more cowboys
than they’d ever seen—

panicked partners on a whim
hell bent through the fence
for the safety of home

will never know the ropes,
our hot iron or knife,
headache of dehorning

for the fifty pounds
of recuperation. Not worth
it now to anyone.

                                          for Virginia McKee



WPC(2) — “Reward”


8 responses to “No, Virginia

  1. I often wondered, how do they do it? How do those cowboy manage to gather up all the cattle on open range? How do they not lose any on a long drive? Heck, how do they even manage to count them to even know? How often do they have to deal with bloat? Secrets of a cowboy.


  2. Caleb Pennebaker

    I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    My goal for no slicks this year has been adjusted to a much more attainable goal of no more than five slicks and I already kinda know who those five slicks will be.

    It’s not a perfect science but it is a very personal science. We know them one on one. When friends don’t show up to the party we miss them but we know where to go to find them when we need them.


    • Right, Caleb. When you can’t see for more than a 100 yards in some of the country we run in, you’re going to miss some. We had these two close, with their mothers, but in the gather to the corrals they got a wild hair.


  3. Love your poem – we will see later how many we miss when we gather.


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