About Joe Haberstroh
I'm one of those wanna-be cowboys
Like the ones that rode long ago
When you tipped your hat to a lady
And you lived your life by a code
You could ride for miles in any direction
Not a fence or a house could be seen
Hard work was your life, with long days and short nights
And paydays far in between
Driving steers to the railhead
Pulling calves in the snow
And breaking young broncs
Made your body feel achy and old
Crowded nights in a bunkhouse
Lonely days on the plains
Where you cussed your constant companions
The cold, the heat, and the rain
But it wasn't the hand that was dealt me
And you can't choose the time that you live
So Lord if I make it to Heaven
There is one big favor to give
God just let me go back there
And let me be put to the test
To ride with Goodnight and Chisum
Then I could say that I rode with the best
So I guess I will go right on wishing
Living the life that is now
Dreaming of chasing wild horses
And roping an old Longhorn cow
© 2002, Joe Haberstroh
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
About Joe Haberstroh:
I have lived in rural Missouri for most of my adult life and have been around horses and cattle for as long as I can remember. But, unfortunately, I am not a cowboy in the true sense of the word - just a wanna-be.
I read an article in Cowboy magazine that mentioned "so and so" was a wanna-be cowboy, and I thought, "Heck, I'm a wanna-be." So I started putting my feelings into words that rhymed, and that started it.
The highlight for me each year happens around September and October when my wife and I load up our horses and head west. We have ridden in many of the western states and, of course, have made friends with a lot of people out there. Some were cowhands and ranchers and some just plain western folks. They have been an influence on my life and my poetry.
I create most of my poetry while I am on horseback or operating my tractor. It can be a problem at times trying to remember lines. Wetting your finger and writing on the hood of a dusty tractor can get really tasty after awhile. I actually do not consider myself to be a poet. I simply like to tell stories that rhyme.
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