Terri Blanke Photo
Before the surplus oilfield pipe
replaced the split redwood posts 
and creosoted oak railroad ties,
we remember the old board pens,
acorns tucked twixt crack and plank,
fiery lichen on the backside
of weather-worn 2 x 8s:
            distant brandings—
            deceased men—
            voices imitated—
            old saws saved 
            that we exchange, 

each triggering the next 
underhanded head loop loosed 
to hang for an instant, 
we snare memories 
like calves to brand—lifetimes 
stretched from hand to hand. 


5 responses to “RABB BRANDING TALK, 2021

  1. Really a beautiful poem John. I will miss seeing you and Robbin at Elko.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this, I will miss Elko but feel grateful for continued inspiration around us and the lives we live. Hope to “tune in” on the 30th.
    Chris Ryden

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really appreciate Rabb Branding, maybe because I am close to as old as those 2x8s!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice tribute John! I feel that I am getting near the end of my trail. So many of the cattle buyers I knew and dealt with, feedlot owners and ranchers I had relationships with are gone. So your words have special meaning. Rich/Seven H Cattle Company

    Liked by 1 person

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