Not far from Wuknaw,
where Bird and Animal people
molded man from this clay ground,
the landscape’s changed: pipe
pens and power lines, first Angus cows
driven weeks from Mexico—
it seems I’ve been here always,
neighbors helping neighbors
brand calves, become friends.
It’s a slow dance horseback
sorting drys from wet mothers
and their calves, few words
spoken, mostly looks and space
at the gate—all the stuff
you could never tell a younger man.
* * * *
Yesterday, Robbin and I helped Tony Rabb brand his calves on the Perkins. So simple and brilliant to maintain the name of a previous owner for a place or a ranch to preserve our common ground and history, more normal than not around here. The Perkins family descended from T. H. Davis who drove forty Angus cows from Mexico to Woodlake in 1853. So much has changed. Forty-five years ago I helped Tom and Gary Davis ship 3 year-old, 1,200 pound Angus steers off this ranch.
First time horseback since knee surgery went well, but a little rusty roping. This is Robbin’s striking iPhone photo before we got started.