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Cowboy Poetry: “Workin’ Cows Together” by Jerry Laskody

This poem describes the ups and downs of a ranch marriage.

Christine and I have a great marriage,

And mostly we get along,

'Cept when we're down in the corral a' workin' the cows

Then something goes awfully wrong.


Now we're both well organized and good planners,  

And our plans are minutely detailed.

'Course the cows don't know nothin' 'bout our plannin',

So our plans they get mostly derailed.


And by God that's when it always happens,

As the first part of the plan goes to pot,

"The plans's not working!' she cries,

And under her collar she's hot!


I say "Honey ya 'gott'a be flexible,

And adapt to the situation at hand.

The critters all need their shots,

And the calves we still have to brand."


"Tell that to those dern' cows!"

She says as she stomps on down the alley.

But she ain' t headed for the house,

So my spirits they're startin' to rally.


Fer' the rest of the day she is sulled up,

And she's in sort of a blue funk,

I feel as welcome around her,

As if I was a smelly ol' skunk.


l got some ol' timers livin' around me,

That's run cows for many 'a year

So I ask them if they've seen this problem before,

While we sip on a tall cold beer


Well they nod their heads knowingly,

As if they'd heard this story before,

And they pause to find the right words,

Before they up and tells me the score.


"They's some things that just don't go together",

Max tells me with a serious look.

"Like oil and water, for example,

No matter how much they was shook."


"It seems that's the way with wives and cows,  

They're two things that naturally repel.

So if you're gonna' work cows together,

Best be prepared to catch a little hell." 


Ol' Charley, he says "Mind your manners,

And try not to yell and cuss.

A "Yes dear" will go a long way,

To keep your lady from making a fuss."


"But if you really want to save your marriage", says Max,

"Here's what I'd advise that you do.

Call Charley and me when you work your cows,

A let your wife bid the corral adieu!"


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