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Thomas J. Firth

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The Saddle
by Thomas J. Firth
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Thomas J. Firth
•  Hats
•  Those Hills
           >> View all 3

I have a number of saddles. A couple I use on the mules, some on the horses. Some I use for guests and greenhorns, and still others are for packing or cow work. But I have one saddle in particular that is my favorite. It is the saddle you'll most often find me sitting in. Nearly forty years ago I paid three-hundred dollars for this saddle, and while that was a tidy sum back in those days, it was the best investment I've ever made. That old saddle is older than three of my four grown kids, and from the looks of it, it'll probably outlast me. I hope you enjoy, The Saddle



          THE SADDLE


 


I bought myself a saddle back in nineteen sixty-nine,


It was new and figured to last a while


And it fit my fanny fine.


 


Constructed with care for detail, it’s craftsmanship superb.


It was made to stand the test of time


And it stood out from the herd.


 


I brought it home and oiled her up and just in case she squeaked


I rubbed her down with talcum powder,


Every flap and crease.


 


I wrapped the horn with rubber from a tire tube gone flat


And riveted a pouch on the billet


 Where my fence pliers comfortably sat.


 


I put her to work immediately and she’s never let me down.


We’ve shared a lot of miles together,


More than either of us could count.


 


From mountain meadows, rocky trails, and hills choked thick with brush,


To sun-baked summers packin’ salt


To cows too tough to flush.


 


Over the years she’s seen her share of cinches come and go.


A breast collar here, a britchen there,


And gallons of saddle soap.


 


Her bars have covered horses and mules of every type.


From one’s as quiet as headstones


To the occasional unscheduled flight.


 


Enough ropes have burned around her horn to start a forest fire.


She’s packed out deer and orphaned calves,


And stretched miles of downed barbwire.


 


She’s held countless bawlin’ baldys at the end of a tight-stretched rope,


And watched as calves got branded,


 Doctored, notched, and groped.


 


She’s sat and waited patiently out in back of the saloon,


And hauled me home not criticizing


My howling at the moon.


 


She’s weathered sons and daughters through gymkhanas and the like.


Now she baby-sits the grandkids


When they come to visit overnight.


 


She’s certainly been a dandy and unlike a bureaucrat,


She’s been honest and hard working


There can be no doubt in that.


 


Yep, I bought myself a saddle back in nineteen sixty-nine.


It was new and figured to last awhile,


And it fit my fanny fine.


 


 tf


 


 

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Reviewed by Larry Lounsbury 2/14/2007
I ride for fun, but that saddle of yours can't be outdone. Great poem.



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