Jo's Cowboy Poetry!
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This is a
new poem!

Old Stories

He was an old man, his shirt worn and faded.
He shuffled, and looked out of place.
And it seemed that a map of the whole western desert
Was etched in the lines on his face.
He lifted his head, and a quick recognition
Twisted his face to a smile.
And his voice sort of cracked as he said, "Hey, kid.
I ain't laid eyed on you in awhile."

And I saw it was Warren, who had been an old hand
On my grand-dad's place, long years ago.
He'd told us such stories, and sung all the songs.
There weren't any songs he didn't know.
And I said, "Hey, old-timer. What you doing clear up here?
I'd not expected to see you in town."
And he said, "I'm here lookin' for a job that pays wages.
Like other men do when they're down."

'Cause there ain't many cattle left out on the range,
Few horses now in the corral
And it seems all my songs have faded and gone
And I've forgotten those stories I'd tell.
I guess there ain't no more stories to tell.

I reached in my purse and took out two twenties.
It was all I had with me then.
I said, "Here, take this, Warren. I wish I had more.
I'd sure like to help if I can."
I could feel his reluctance to take what I offered.
His face warred with need and with hurt
And his gaze clouded over, his hand clearly trembled,
As he tucked those bills in his shirt.

Then I gave his my address, said, "Warren, come by.
We'll brew coffee, and have us a chat."
But he looked at the ground instead of my eyes,
As he mumbled, "Yeah. I might do that."
Then he got in a pick-up that was battered and old,
Said, "Well, I'll be on my way."
Tho' where he was headed in the concrete and noise
Of that city, I just couldn't say.

Because there aren't many cattle left out on the range,
Few horses now in the corral.
But Warren, you're wrong. I still sing your songs.
And I remember those stories you'd tell.
There are so many old stories to tell.

ŠJo Lynne Kirkwood


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