Salem, South Carolina
About Ivan Kershner
The Ranch Sale
They're selling the land that I walked on.
The home of my youth is no more.
But the lessons I learned growing up on the ranch
Are with me as part of my core.
Work hard from the first ray of sunlight.
Your best work hasn't been done.
Your word and your hand make a contract.
Your life and your living are one.
A dull tool is hardly worth having.
God is in charge of the rain.
Honor's much stronger than money.
The world's in a bushel of grain.
Close all of your gates tight behind you.
Feed your horse before you take rest.
Each spring calf is a new kind of lesson,
And every blizzard is a pass/fail test.
Yes, they've sold the ranch I grew up on,
But its legacy lives in me yet.
Do good. Be honest. Live fully.
And value the wisdom from sweat....
© 2003, Ivan Kershner
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.
About Ivan Kershner:
I was born in 1948 in Buffalo, Wyoming...location of the Johnson County War, Hole-in-the-Wall, Fort Phil Kearney, the Fetterman Massacre, the
Wagon Box Fight. On the wall in my den hangs the gun belt worn by Sheriff "Red" Angus of Buffalo when he mobilized the townspeople of
Buffalo and stopped the "Invaders" at the TA Ranch south of town after they had killed Nate Champion and Nick Ray at Kaycee (where, today,
Chris LeDoux lives). I spent my most formative years living on a ranch which was part of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home to
the Lakota Sioux that had been largely responsible for explaining to General Custer that he had made a big mistake in showing up in Montana
in 1876. My dad was a life-long friend of the great Western poet S. Omar Barker, and I grew up listening to my father read aloud to me about
"Ropin' Bears," "Hangin' Black Jack Ketchum," and "Courtin' Nester Gals." In my own right, I've spent the last thirty-four years as a school principal and a poet. I have one book of serious verse published, and I'm working on a second.
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