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Thomas J. Firth

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by Thomas J. Firth

Monday, January 15, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Thomas J. Firth
•  The Saddle
•  Those Hills
           >> View all 3

There are certain things in this world that are near and dear to a cowboy's heart. His hat would be one of them.
A cowboy's hat is, after all, a big part of who he is, and if you've ever wondered what it would be like to take the lid off a five-gallon can of "whoop-ass" and not be able to get the lid back on, just try to take a cowboy's hat away from him!



The other day while out workiní

I was muckiní out horse stalls and pens

When my wife hollered out Time for supper,

Get washed up, itís time to come in.


I scrubbed up at the sink in the kitchen,

Then reached for a towel on the rack

When my dearly beloved informed me

Honey, you need a new hat.


Confused, I said Huh? and was certain

Iíd misunderstood her decree

But it soon became clear when she said Listen here

Mister, donít you play stupid with me.


Now there are times when a cowboy should listen

And choose wisely the words he will use

But I spoke up instead for the crown on my head,

Defending it from such abuse.


Why, whatís wrong with this one?

I asked to fend off her attack.

Itís finally broke in like I like it my Dear,

Now why would I want to do that?


Suddenly I realized my error,

How I should have kept quiet instead,

With her eyebrows pitched and her hands on her hips

She glared down her nose and she said.


`Cause it looks like itís been through the pig pen,

In a stampede and hit by a train

Not to mention the waft when you take your hat off,

Honey itís time to retire that thing,


The brimís full of cracks, tears and creases,

Itís seen better days thatís for sure,

Itís cause for concern from its stem to its stern,

Sweetie face it, itís lost its allure.


Now I suppose if Iíd just kept my mouth shut

A slim chance might have remained

But I antagonized her ire when I tossed fuel on the fire,

And your point? I proudly proclaimed.


The argument then escalated

From debate to just short of war,

My sweetheartís demeanor went from nasty to meaner

When she added And further more!


Youíre getting a new hat tomorrow

So for a funeral weíll burn that old thing

ĎCause a burial would spoil and contaminate the soil

Not to mention the underground spring.


So the subject is closed, done and settled,

Itís finished, completed, thee end,

Youíre getting a new hat and thatís final, thatís that,

So donít act like youíve lost your best friend.


I resigned myself to my penitence,

Which for me, a fate far worse than death,

Tomorrow Iíd retire my old friend to the fire

And fall prey to my sweetheartís bequest.


The next day we jumped in the pick-up,

We took off and headed for town

To the Buckaroo Emporium and Old Hat Crematorium,

Final resting place of old hats broken-down.


The Emporium was a cathedral,

The walls lined with hats overhead,

Confused and bewitched Ďcause ainít none of Ďem which

A cowboyíd be caught weariní dead.


A salesman waltzed over to greet us

And it didnít take me long to deduce

This felleríd never straddled, let alone seen a saddle,

When he said Howdy there, my name is Bruce.


I whispered a word to my sweetheart,

I said Letís get one thing real clear,

What winds up on top will be my choice, or not,

So tell Bruce there, I donít wear cashmere.


So my wife and the salesman began walking,

While me, I trailed slowly behind,

Then `ol Bruce began pointing, detailing and anointing

Each hat as if created divine.


Our hats come in a variety of flavors he said,

All different colors and shades,

Thereís chocolate and gold and chartreuse Iím told,

Even fuchsia if youíre leaning that way.


And they come in all shapes and sizes

From derbies to ten-gallon hats,

Thereís oval and round, short and tall crowns,

And each has a brim sized to match.


And we have hatbands galore that will dazzle,

From snakeskin, or maybe peacock instead,

Folks will spot you from a mile, youíll at last be in style.

Thatís what Iím afraid of I said.


As my bride wandered aimlessly onward

Sheíd Oooh and sheíd Ahhh and sheíd gawk,

I grabbed Bruce by the hide and I pulled him aside

And said Sport, we need to have us a talk.


Look pard I said with my hackles up,

These hats youíre a showiní ainít me,

Theyíre fine I suppose if you wear pantyhose

But theyíre just a little more glitter than I need.


So do you have something a little less garish?

Without all the pomp and circumstance?

That doesnít belong on stage with Elton John,

Come from Hollywood or God forbid, France?


You got anything back there without sparkles?

And wonít set off an airport alarm?

Thatís not made by Versache, or worn by Liberace?

You have anything that doesnít glow in the dark?


I need a hat for my head thatís quiet,

A plain ribbon band would be great,

It shouldnít look absurd like Iíd wrecked with a bird,

No buckles or conches or snakes.


Bruce gasped and tossed his arm to his forehead,

For a moment I thought he might faint,

Oh, youíre one of those, well I guess, I suppose,

I can find something a little more quaint.


As Bruce turned to leave I stopped him,

I said, Hey Pard just one little thing,

I wear a seven and an eighth round, and prefer to shape my own crown.

He said Certainly, what color shall I bring?


Weíll thatís the easiest part I told him

That decision is pretty matter-of-fact,

You see, a cowboy can wear any color he dare,

As long as itís gray or itís black!


 thomas firth



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Reviewed by Jane Rodway 1/18/2007
This is excellent, sooooo funny-thebest part about it is that unlike most longer poems that i've read on here over the years is that yours actually WORKS at this length because it tells a story, so the length is appropriate-I am just not sure why more haven't read it, they are really missing out.
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 1/15/2007
Hats are so special to cowboys. It is part of their personalities. The hat grows with them.

I hope you'll find that special hat very soon.

Sandie May Angel :o)

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