About Dan Bradshaw
I'll Be Go Ta Hell
The man was old and tired
as he lay there on the bed,
and except for a fringe of silver
there weren't much hair upon his head.
His eyes were closed most all the time,
even when he was awake.
And those hands, those hands that once had seemed so strong
would tremble, twitch, and shake.
My momma was his daughter,
and I'd loved him all my life.
He'd taught me how to ride a horse,
and use a pocket knife.
But now he lay here dyin'
and there was nothin' I could do.
Oh, occasionally we'd talk a bit
whenever he'd come to
And then we'd reminisce
'bout horses we had known,
and folks that both had come and gone,
and the wild oats we both had sewn.
But then one day he told me somethin',
I've since come to understand,
about life and death and dyin'
and livin' best ya can.
He said "Dan boy, I'm eighty-five years old
and I've lived a life complete.
I've owned good stock, and I've rode the best,
and my wife's been true and sweet."
"And I think I've finally figgered out,
this life I've lived so well,
but I've also come ta understand
this thing that we call hell."
"Ya see, in my mind I'm stll eighteen'
I'm young and strong and free.
But I'm trapped inside this old man's hide
with no mobility."
"I still want ta do all those things
that I could used ta do,
but this old man's body can't get it done'
I'm saddle worn clear through."
"So if it's all the same
I think I'll mosey on my way
ta some other spot where this worn out riggin'
won't get in the way"
Well, Grandpa died , and went away
happier bein' free.
And he left his worn out body here
with his love and his memory.
But I remember what he told me,
'bout bein' trapped inside that shell,
and I reckon it wont be too long
'till I'll be "go ta hell."
© Dan Bradshaw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.
My grandfather was Ken Tanner. He was born January 1892 and died March 1975. He owned the best livestock in his valley, and was almost as proud of them as of his family. He was the kind of Grandpa every young boy needed. I had no need of super heroes when I was growing up. I had My Grandpa.
About Dan Bradshaw:
I started writing poetry when I was about 14. My grandfather was a cowboy who wrote poetry, and provided me with the inspiration to write. I've been lucky enough to perform all over the United States. Elko, Colorado Springs, Boston, St Louis, Nevada, California.
I was an outfitter in the Uinta mountains for several years. I've worked as an ag lender for years at a small community bank, but we have always had horses and cattle. My daughters learned to drive in the hay field, and one of them rodeoed. We spent lots of great hours trailering to the rodeos.
We have about 2000 acres in the west Utah desert where we raise Texas Longhorn Cattle. Despite their reputation, they are gentle to work, great mothers, and have provided us with a return we couldn't make on other cattle in the desert.
I spent 8 years as a Bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the Utah State Prison working in the Maximum Security Area.
I have been married for 33 years, have 4 daughters, 3 grand daughters, and 1 grandson with another grandchild on the way.
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