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Cowboy Poetry: "So you want to be a cowboy" by Mike Williams

This poem describes the realities of being a cowboy. 

“So you want to be a cowboy?”

That old man asks of me.

“You don’t look quite as crazy

As I think you’ll need to be.”


He stood there for a moment

like he had more to say

Then he shrugged his shoulders,

And he turned and walked away.


“What’s he know?” I ask myself.

He’s just an old sad sack.

“Sunsets, open range, and horseback rides.

What’s crazy about that?”


I hired on, and soon found out

My dreams were all askew.

Sunsets to a cowboy

Is just something you work through.


The open range was filled with bugs.

It was dusty, dry, and hot.

And the horses in the string I drew

All liked to buck a lot.


The cows were hard to gather.

They were wild, mean, and tough.

The country side was brushy,

It was rocky, steep and rough.


I was disillusioned.

And it grew each passing day.

I really thought I’d had enough

When I saw my meager pay.


I kinda hit a low point

Reality had hit

But I couldn’t walk away just now.

I had more try than quit.


I’m not quite sure what kept me there.

Perhaps it was my pride.

But the horses seemed to settle down

The more I learned to ride.


The cattle seemed to calm down too.

As I learned more of their ways.

And sunsets seemed more beautiful

After those long hard days.


This way of life had hooked me.

Now that I’d had a taste.

And any other line of work

Now seemed like such a waste.


I ran into that old man again.

At a branding in the spring.

He saw me in my boots, and spurs.

He said “you're crazier then you seemed.”


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