The Trail Boss Turns 60

The Camp Cooky’s singin again outa tune,
  about turnin 60 today around noon

"What good is there in it?" I hear him say,
  and it got me to thinkin . . . seein it was his birthday

It seems bein 60’s got two spins to that tale,
  one frittered and wrinkled, the other covered in shale

The one who’s 60 if truth be told,
  is still younger than all those 61—to real old

In the campfire’s crackle of light I can see,
  how everyone younger, is likely dumber than me

So if my hands struggle with the knots and riggin fersure,
 the knowin and the tellin to those younger’s worth more

Havin outlived many a cow horse, while lovin them all,
  the awnry and skitterish, the short and the tall

The summers ridin drag, and the worst winters mendin fence, with a slicker full a holes, and that ol dog with no sense

And while the cuttin and the brandin seems boring to some, it’s the importance of their nature and gettin things done

When the hats and the spurs and even the saddles are all gone,and the sun sinks over that last mountain, like in Dusty’s ol song

I’ll remember the good times, lettin go of the bad,
 and think back on the pards and the ladies I’ve had

Because just like for Cooky, it happened last year to me,
 and turnin 60 seemed ranker than any bronc could ever
  be

But like that new Visalia saddle the boss man said was now mine, I've found somethin that’s different, somethin gentler and kind

The speed and the strength ain’t been traded for free,
  and somethin woke up that I guess was sleepin in me

And as I yell to the wrangler “Cut me one gentle and nice” without loosin too much pride I ask, “Can you help Ol Jim cinch his riggin real tight”

Then once more in the dark I ride off in search of the herd, singin that one favorite cow song every real hand has heard

And as I inch up on the lead steer whisperin mellow and low, “Yippee ki yay, Ol Fella; you ready to go”

For maybe one last time we push North thru the dark,
  the sun still two hours off to the right of our mark

While in the distance a wolf howls, as that lead steer catches my eye, and in that instant I know I’m still needed,—a long ways from g’bye

(Dewey Montana: Circa 1990) Read In Elko Nevada, 1993
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Kurt Philip Behm

Longtime writer with twelve books in publication. Three of them Poetry. : The Death Of The Playground : The Sword Of Ichiban : Searching For Crazy Horse : Darkening Sun : An Anthology Of Perception-Vol's 1 & 2 : After Midnight : Sammy And Bumpers : The Fall City Mandate : Revenge Along The War Trail : Death from The Sky more…

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"The Trail Boss Turns 60" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 31 May 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/45265/the-trail-boss-turns-60>.

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