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Jerry W. Engler

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  Cowtime Ritual
by Jerry W. Engler
Friday, February 23, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Jerry W. Engler
•  NightWake
•  Mercy, My Own
•  My Room
•  When Dark Chaos Overcomes Me
•  Endure, Endure, and Endure
           >> View all 82


The relationships of man, horse and cattle growing old together, a model for everyone as time passes.




Cowtime Ritual

Only an ear turned to catch the whispers
from the hill above the creek shows you
are ready for the evening cattle drive,
old horse.
Gently tuned by time and practice you stand
while the old man steadies himself at your rump,
conserving his strength for the climb to the saddle,
First he raises one trembling knee and then the other, slowly unwinding his ancient body,
to crawl into the wooden feed bunk.

The cows are on the hillside
feeling the time for milking approach,
knowing that you will come,
grasping with last-chance greed for more grass
while their broken-horned leader edges them
contrarily further from home.

You shiver in your soul, but you wait on the struggling man
pushing his gnarly work-worn hands
on yur back to gather himself
to stand from the weathered bunk floor.

They're the familiar old hands
that charmed and chastened you
from wobbly legs to galloping prime
to the sturdy knees of nearly thirty years
that could almost creak in response to his.

Such faith that he stands there now,
one leg across the saddle,
the other leg precariously
standing in the bunk,
while he gasps and mumbles to you.
Twenty minutes you have stood
when he finally fits himself into the saddle.

Broken horn has moved her sisters another thousand feet up the ridge,
and your forward ears show
that you know that.
But still, you walk with measured tread
while the man rides in loose-reined swaying ease,
as in a front-porch rocker,
taking his pleasure in the day.

Jerry W. Engler

Jerry W. Engler


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Reviewed by Kathy Kopp 2/25/2008
I really like your simile, "as in a front-porch rocker". I'm acquainted with some old ranchers in Montana who won't give up their horses. This rings true.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 5/21/2007
Thank you for sharing this poetic tale, Jerry. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Jim Moore (Reader) 5/2/2007
I don't know how I missed this one, Jerry. Excellent story line from start to finish. Two thumbs up!

Best,

Jim
Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson 2/26/2007
what a wonderful story/poem
could felt the hardness see the hradness of his hands
strong and quiet love in here
enjoyed
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 2/24/2007
Enjoyed
Reviewed by alejapoet@aol.com Bennett 2/23/2007
It is always an indeed pleasure to read such fine well written artistic work. I love coming out to my favorite den where you all inspire me so much every day. What I read share and know is such a wonderful view. Stay focused and always write on.

Books by
Jerry W. Engler



Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry: Just Folks Three

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Just Folks: Earthy Tales of the Prairie Heartland

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A Heartland Voice: Just Folks Two

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