About C.R. Wood
A Cowboy Christmas Lament
At the North Pole, cold and frozen, Santa’s Saddle Shop is closing,
Two old saddle-maker elves will now retire.
Or, because of Santa’s kindness, stick around to mend some harness.
One would like to be the Christmas Village Crier.
All the other shops are busy. Other elves are in a tizzy,
Wrappin’ up cool 4G i-Phones by the score
While on rangeland, folks are crying, ‘cause a way of life is dying
No one wants to be a Cowboy anymore.
Now the stamping tools are dusty. All the skives and knives are rusty,
And the shop, almost abandoned, stands forlorn.
The warehouse full of bridles, leggins,’ chinks and slick-fork saddles
Lie in wait for generations yet unborn.
No apprentices in-training, will learn leatherwork or braiding
From old master’s calloused hands, nor western lore,
From those who love the history of the west, it’s myth and mystery.
No one wants to be a Cowboy anymore.
So, it’s out with spurs and bridles, in with kiddie-band teen idols
Santa’s outsourcing production to Taipei.
It just makes sense to keep the manufacture quick and cheap,
Because the kids don’t seem to give a hoot, today.
Time was once when ev’ry young man was a Tex, or Roy or Gene fan
Who aspired to learn and live the “Cowboy Code.”
Now it’s “Tweeter,” texts and skateboards, rap or heavy metal “axe” chords
Camo-painted ATV’s are all they’ve rode.
They tear through all the wrappings, ribbons, bows and gilded trappings
Like a diabetic through a candy stash.
When they finally reach the bottom of the presents grandma brought ‘em,
They proclaim, ”I’d really rather have the cash!”
And they’re right! Christmas is boughten. Now it seems kids have forgotten,
That the day commemorates a Holy Birth.
How the King, and the Atoner, He whose name we praise and honor,
Had His holy, humble, advent here on earth.
They forget all that He gave us, how His suff’ring was to save us.
They’re enraptured by the snare of “things and stuff.”
And the more they get, the more they want. They’re never satisfied.
It’s just impossible to ever get—ENUF!
Of electronic innovations from the “Techie” generations
Or those elves who made “Transformers” such a hit,
As for braided rawhide bosals and those hand-hitched horse-hair headstalls,
Well, quite frankly, they just couldn’t care a bit.
So, the gnarled arthritic fingers of the craftsman sadly lingers
Over one last masterpiece of leather art
As unique in its creation, as it is in form and function,
Just another tool which sets Cowboys apart.
As those old men snuff the candle, it seems more than they can handle,
‘Cause it’s over, done, and like we said before:
The thing that makes it sad, the thing that hurts us all so bad, is
No one wants to be a “Cowboy”—anymore!
© 2010, C. R. Wood
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
About C.R. Wood:
C. R. Wood., born in the alkali capital of the world, Delta, Utah was raised as a feedlot cowboy, educated as an animal nutritionist, and became a fair-to-middling bulldogger, whose business card reads, “Auctioneer.”
C. R. caught the “Horse People” disease as a baby riding the pommel of his dad’s old Visalia rig, and the “Cowboy Poetry” disease while doing an oilfield auction in, of all places, Saudi Arabia. “Writing rhyming verse just sort of kept the lonelies at bay.”
C. R. is the author of It’s All About The Horses, Christmas On The Outfit and a CD in-production entitled My Brand.
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