Cowboy Poetry: “Greener Pasture” by Tom Smith

“I wrote this for my father, an active rancher until about a month past his 80th birthday, when he began a five-year downhill slide. He went Home seven years ago last March. I had to put in the waiting dogs, because he raised some of the finest Catahoula Leopard cow dogs in the country, and had a special bond with several of them. It’s also for 2 other close friends/mentors who passed just before he did.”

He glides across the kitchen floor

And eases through the sliding door.

He has to take this morning ride.

The urge no longer can be denied.

Sharp grey eyes that match his hair

Look across the valley fair.

His arthritis today has gone.

No more aches in every bone.

Back once stooped now is straight.

He’s free at last from shuffling gait.

His mind now clear, he’s movin’ faster

 

Thinkin’ about that greener pasture.  

He catches up the star-faced bay,

No fear if he should buck and play,

And throws the saddle up with ease,

Reveling in the morning breeze.

With agile spring, he swings astride

And looks around the ranch with pride

At grass this year near stirrup-high.

Last year was so very dry.

He passes by a mother deer.

She stands but only flicks an ear.

He shifts a spur, the horse moves faster,

Headin’ toward that greener pasture.  

 

A single cow turns her head

As he drops into the riverbed

He crosses water deep and wide

And half-way up to the mountainside,

He disappears into the mist

Drawn by a force he can’t resist.

But he won’t have to ride alone.

There’s dogs and friends already gone

Sittin’ there at the Gate.

Ended now is their wait.

He’s Top Hand now for the Master

Ridin’ Heaven’s greener pasture.

 

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TAGS: Ranching
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