by Buddy Quinn
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Recent poems by Buddy Quinn
The Lonely Desert
The Bottle On The Shelf
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I was moping around the outer corrals
of a friend of mine's ranch one day.
When I saw this old gray haired cowboy,
kneel down to the ground to pray.
He said, "Good morning Lord, it's just me again,
and I reckon I'm feeling alright,
except yesterday's heat hung on for quite a spell
and I didn't sleep much late last night.
But, I thought I'd stop and talk awhile
just to let you know I'm still around.
I haven't accomplished a lot lately Lord,
I'm just trying to hold this cow job down.
Now you know how it is in the cow game Lord,
when the moisture all leaves the ground.
The grass all dies and the sand starts to blow
and kind of keeps the calf crop down.
Ya see, the water holes are nearly dried up Lord
and the cattle are getting thinner somewhat,
but, five or six days of good heavy rain
would sure help out a mighty lot.
Now I ain't got no favors to ask for myself,
reckon things are alright by me,
except that climb to my saddle gets higher everyday or maybe my knees are getting weak.
So excuse me Sir for taking up your time
but I had a few things to say,
we could sure use a little bit of moisture Sir
if you'd care to send a little our way."
Well I slowly turned and walked away
and stepped into the door of a shed,
I was down right ashamed for standing so quite
and eaves-dropping the way that I did.
Just to think this old man, just a common hard hand, although he never asked a thing for himself,
yet he knelt and talked to God like a friend
as he prayed for somebody else.
Well, we missed that old man at breakfast next morn when he didn't sit down to his plate
and when we went to the bunkhouse we'd found him dead but he died with a smile on his face.
Now, if you should wonder if this story is true
or if maybe it's just a refrain,
when we buried that old cowboy that same afternoon it had already started to rain.
© Doyle R. Quinn I 1963