Long stiff with the sweat of years,
I see myself beneath its dust, retired
from the common ignorance of haste.

All the timed events, all the wild cattle
made by the chase are scars etched
in fragile leather, some in my brain

as sweet memories of riding high,
shoulder to shoulder in the gather
of good men shaped by this landscape

that will outlast us in the end. Too soon
old, they say, too late wise, I could
always have taken better care of time,

thrown away the watches and clocks
and invested it in the real observation
of other living things—even the smallest

of which has a mission to teach us
the hard way. And what I fail to see—
this slow creak of bones will illuminate.


5 responses to “OLD SADDLE

  1. Caleb Pennebaker

    This may well be your best yet, John. My mind is torn between my own memories and the life lesson but there’s room for both today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is what it is. And if we were born wise, who’d listen to a kid with no experience. Besides, so much of it was fun in the camaraderie of men, we’d probably do it all again.


  2. Such a good and true analogy here, John. When in Wyoming, I ride an old saddle that may not look fancy, but it comfortable and full of wisdom. 🙂 I love it.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful. Another one for the book!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.