Cowboy Poetry: “Old Friends” by Doug Velisek

This poem describes the relationship between a man and his horse.

May 7, 2016

2 Min Read
Cowboy Poetry: “Old Friends” by Doug Velisek

His back, it’s stiff but his head is clear

As he heads out for the field

The three year olds they beckon him

They want their morning meal


He loads the cart it rolls and bounces

Across the frozen ground

The smell of hayledge cuts the air

John Deere makes the loudest sound


The girls file in the lot

stepping gingerly under foot

The land all white except the trail

It’s dark and looks like soot


He counts his cattle as he pulls up

His count’s on the short side

Feed the feed and saddle up

It’s time to take a ride


He walks his steed through the place

where hooves have left their marks

Then he mounts his old friend

An adventure as it starts


Over the knoll he rides Old Jake

Across the creek they slid

He thinks of many times they’ve done this

Jake’s older than his kid


He tugs Jake left but Jake fades right

He scowls at his old man

Then looks in Jake’s direction

And see’s the old horses plan


For up ahead behind a bush

A tail it stands out straight

It’s 263 she’s due this week

He hopes he’s not too late


He gives Old Jake a little nudge

Jake picks it up a bit

263 her head flies up

Lets not throw her in a fit


They circle out a little wide

She calms down and turns her back

Around a tree they travel now

It’s then he spies the calf


He see’s that it’s not moving

There’s the sack over its head

As he dismounts he says a prayer

“Lord I hope that he’s not dead”


As the cowboy makes a move to clear its nose

The mom lowers her head

Needs stop now, he makes a fake

And goes for it instead


This may have been a big mistake

But he wants to clear that nose

He’ll catch the sack and pull it quick

But mom she’s very close


His life does not flash before his eyes

though he fears that he’ll be rolled

In his younger days he’d slip away

But now he’s too dammed old


He’s sure that she has got him now

He moved as fast as his body could

He makes a tree, there is no cow

Just Old Jake where she once stood


She’s mad but goes to licking the babe

It shakes it’s head and kicks

The little critters breathing now

And the cowboys got no broken sticks


As he mounts Old Jake he pats his neck,

then heads back to the barn again

He knows that Jake will get extra feed today

And thanks God for his old friend


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